Saturday, May 6, 2006
I am writing on behalf of The Yale Law Journal to tell you about a call for submissions that we think will interest you and the readers of your blog at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/. The Journal seeks to publish two Articles engaged in a dialogue on a single compelling legal topic. Selected Articles will be published in the same issue in the spring of 2007. We encourage scholars to submit pieces in development rather than completed pieces ready for submission and publication so that the pieces that will evolve in response to each other. Interested authors should seek out a colleague in their field with a differing viewpoint who will join them in this project. There is no subject matter limitation for submissions, but the topic should be both contentious and suitable to thorough and engaging discussion. Each submission should include a partially developed paper of at least 5000 words and the author’s curriculum vitae. The interlocutor should include a prospectus of at least 1200 words, as well as a curriculum vitae. Please send proposals via e-mail in MS Word format to the Features & Symposium Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should read: Debate Proposal: [Title]. All submissions must be received by August 1, 2006, and the Journal will respond by August 15. We hope that you will help us spread the word of this exciting opportunity. Sincerely, Brian Wong Symposium Editor, Yale Law Journal.
For the formal call for proposals, Download CallforDebate.pdf
Two former politicians were convicted of taking bribes from a strip-club owner in a corruption scandal so laced with sex and money that it shocked a town where indulgence is an industry. Former Clark County Commissioner Dario Herrera, 32, and former Commissioner Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, 67, were found guilty Friday on federal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion under color of official right.
Good news -- There were no reports this weekend of immigration law professor involvement in serious criminal activity (unless singing is a crime) although a large number (much larger than the number of Minutemen spotted by one of your bloggers in southern Arizona a few weeks ago) congregated in Las Vegas for the 2006 Immigration Law Teachers Workshop. This year's Workshop, due to the leadership of Planning Committee Chair Professor Linda Bosniak and Logistics maven Professor David Thronson as well as the hard work of the entire Planning Committee, was a great success!
The Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya fights Ricardo Mayorga tonight in Las Vegas. here is what De La Hoya has to say on immigration:
De La Hoya, whose family came from Mexico to East Los Angeles as illegal immigrants before he was born, has rarely spoken out on hot political issues. However, he talked this week about his feelings on the illegal immigration controversy enveloping the nation. De La Hoya, who seamlessly moves from Spanish to English in his press conferences, believes that immigrants should at least learn English if they want to live here. "When immigrants come to this country they come to work," he said. "My family came illegally. They came to work. It's not easy to get a green card. Obviously, you have to work for it. You have to spend time here in this country. You have to respect the flag. You have to speak English. It's part of being in America. I understand that and that's what people should understand. I think this is the land of opportunity. It gave me the opportunity and I really appreciate it."
Does Oscar D sound like a budding politician? You betcha! Recall also that when he fought Julio Cesar Chavez several years ago, Chavez was the fan favorite among Mexican Americans as well as Mexican immigrants who rejected Oscar's brand of assimiliationism. Law prof Yxta Maya Murray wrote a great magazine article about this.
For more on Oscar and the fight tonight, click here.
More on the Spanish National Anthem, Bush's "Spanish Fluency", and the Immigration Debate, or Is this for Real?
From the Washington Post:
The Bush mythology is full of convenient little fictions -- like the one that he speaks Spanish fluently.
The president delights in injecting a phrase or two of Spanish into a speech or photo opportunity. And over the years, the misconception that he is proficient in the language has spread far and wide, and even crept into some credulous news stories. But suddenly, it's not so convenient. Bush critics are accusing him of hypocrisy for publicly opposing the singing of the national anthem in Spanish -- when he allegedly did it himself during his presidential campaign.
So as part of the attempt to swat that story down, the White House itself is calling attention to Bush's foreign-language shortcomings.
"I'm saying that not only was that suggestion absurd, but that he couldn't possibly sing the national anthem in Spanish. He's not that good with his Spanish," press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday. "The president speaks Spanish, but not that well."
For the full story, click here.
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the largest order of Roman Catholic sisters in the United States, today called on Congress to pass compassionate immigration reform legislation during a press conference at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Presidents of the 25 regional communities of the Sisters of Mercy were joined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby; the Catholic Alliance for the Common Good; and CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Center) in their plea for humane immigration reform that addresses the factors underlying cross-border migration. For more information on how to join the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in standing in solidarity with immigrants, click here.
In Saleh v. Gonzales, No. 04-2258 (3rd Cir. Mar. 31, 2006), the court noted the unprofessional and inappropriate conduct of IJ Garcy in this case and said that "we counsel Judge Garcy specifically, and immigration judges generally, ... to conduct themselves in a manner befitting a neutral and detached federal judge." Click here for the opinion.
The Solicitor General has filed a petitioner for certiorari in Tchoukhrova v.Gonzales, a Ninth Circuit decision finding that a severely disabled Russian child and his family had been persecuted and were eligible for asylum information.
For further details about the case: Download the Solicitor General's petition by clicking here. Read a memorandum discussing the facts and issues by clicking here. Read a letter from former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh urging the current Attorney General not to pursue this case further by clicking here.
Analysis Of The Legalization Provisions Of The Senate "Compromise" On Immigration Reform: A Flawed, Inadequate, Anti-Worker Proposal
Peter Schey for Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law "considers whether the legalization provisions of the Hagel-Martinez Senate "compromise" bill offer a viable means to address the presence of several million undocumented persons who, as a practical matter, are in the US to stay." Click here to see this paper.
Toward A Comprehensive Immigration Policy
Tom Barry writes "While there is broad consensus on the need for more effective border security and for a national worker identification system, there is a narrower range of bipartisan consensus on the issues of "earned legalization" and guest-worker programs." Click here to see this paper.
On Friday, www.ilw.com published a letter from California Governor Schwarzenegger on immigration:
As an immigrant, I can identify with the desire to come to this country. While growing up, I had a dream to come to America. And since then, I have seen firsthand that the US - a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws - is the most generous nation in the world. But our generosity toward people who want to immigrate to America and work hard cannot come at the expense of securing our international borders. The first order of business for the federal government is to safeguard our borders. Last year, I asked officials in Washington, D.C., to better fund these security requirements. As a result of my efforts, the federal government has made substantial progress in increasing the number of Border Patrol agents and expanding the technology used in border security. The cost of incarcerating illegal aliens who commit crimes is estimated at $750 million each year, an expense California taxpayers continue to bear. I have urged, and will continue to seek, more federal funding from President Bush and the United States Congress to reimburse our State for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens. My efforts last year led to a $100 million dollar increase for the federal State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. I also called on our nation's officials to attack the problem, not the people, in crafting a comprehensive immigration policy. I support efforts to ensure that our businesses have the employees they need but have been unable to find in our existing workforce and that immigrants are treated with the respect they deserve. While I oppose amnesty, I support a common-sense temporary worker program so that every person in our nation is documented. Immigration is an important issue that deeply affects California. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Note that the Governor focuses in part on the need for monies from the federal government to help pay for the costs of immigration. This is a legitimate concern and helps explain why two Democratic governors last summer, Janet Napolitano (Arizona) and Bill Richardson (New Mexico), declared states of emergency based on the current immigration situation; by so doing, the two states became eligible for federal emergency relief. While the fedeal government is entrusted with regulating immigration and receives the bulk of the revenues from immigrants, state and local governments pay substantial costs for public schools and emergency services. Currently, a fiscal disconnect exists between the tax receipts and costs for services.
Friday, May 5, 2006
Here's an interesting piece on the increase in federal criminal prosecutions related to immigration in the federal southern district of Texas.
Here are some recent publications from ARC pertaining to immigration:
The Price of the Ticket: There is little question that the current immigration debate, though coded and contrived otherwise, is entirely about race. Read more by ARC’s Andre Banks
Leading La Marcha: In an opinion piece on tompaine.com, Rinku Sen examines the implications of the current wave of immigration demonstrations in a multi-national, multi-racial America.
Plan is Way Off the Mark
President Bush's promise to overhaul the U.S. immigration system is a disaster in the making. Read more by the New California Media
Thursday, May 4, 2006
Chevy's Fresh Mex restaurant in Tracy, California, fired eight employees who skipped work to attend an immigration rally, prompting four other workers to quit in protest.
The prep cooks and dishwashers who were fired said they asked for the day off but were told by managers that they'd be fired if they didn't show up Monday.
Allen Beebe, owner of the restaurant's parent company, Calmex Inc., said some workers did not show up, leaving the restaurant with less than half its kitchen staff.
Immigration Reform and National Security
A Washington Post op-ed which studies this matter at length says "On national security grounds, then, if America wants to build a wall along one of our borders, it should be our border to the north." In other words, if national security was the true motivation for the anti-immigrationists, they should be hollering for a wall on the Canadian border, not the Mexican one. To see how that conclusion is reached, click here.
Immigration Monthly: April 2006
The April issue of Immigration Monthly features an article by Susan Gzesh, "Central Americans And Asylum Policy In The Reagan Era". Click here to see.
CRS On Guest Workers
The Congressional Research Service issued a report on policy considerations related to guest worker programs. Click here to see it.
Immigration Policy Center Report on IRCA Twenty Years After
Bottom Line: If the current political stalemate over immigration reform is any indication, many U.S. policymakers have yet to heed the lessons of recent history when it comes to formulating a realistic strategy to control undocumented immigration. In 1986, lawmakers passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in an attempt to reign in undocumented immigration through heightened worksite and border enforcement, combined with legalization of most undocumented immigrants already in the country. Unfortunately, IRCA failed to offer a long-term solution to the problem of undocumented immigration because: (1) it did not expand avenues for legal immigration to match the U.S. economy's continuing demand for immigrant workers; (2) it did not create an effective system through which employers could verify that their employees are authorized to work in the United States; and (3) the employer sanctions provisions of the bill were weakly enforced. Lawmakers should take care not to make the same mistakes in crafting new immigration reform legislation.
To read this report, click here.
For a commentarry about whether the recent immigration protests might morph into something more, see this commentary:
Is a New Civil Rights Movement Emerging? By Kevin Johnson
For weeks, television and newspaper stories have featured spectacular images of masses of humanity lined up for miles, marching in support of immigrants. Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them immigrants, peacefully marched in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Phoenix and dozens of other cities across the country. Such mass demonstrations on the issue of immigration are unprecedented in U.S. history.
For the full piece, click here.
Rachel Swarns' story in today's NYTimes on African Americans and the immigrants' rights movement provided a textured look at the mixed feelings with which some civil rights activists view the immigrants' rights marches and activism of the past months. But the debate highlighted in the article (and the article itself) obscures the existance of Black immigrants.
The quote from Brendon L. Laster highlights the point. Mr. Laster is quoted as saying:
"I think what they were able to do, the level of organization they were able to pull off, that was phenomenal," said Mr. Laster, who is also a part-time sociology professor at a community college in Baltimore. "But I do think their struggle is, in fundamental ways, very different from ours. We didn't chose to come here; we came here as slaves. And we were denied, even though we were legal citizens, our basic rights."
But not all Blacks in the U.S. came here as slaves -- some are immigrants. Some of these immigrants are here legally, others are not. Many of these immigrants -- authorized and unauthorized -- face discrimination similar to that experienced by the decendants of slaves. Furthermore, they face the problems of immigrants. Black noncitizens, like other noncitizens, face removal under increasingly harsh immigration laws. Haitian migrants have faced systematic and virulent discrimination under U.S. immigration law. In an interdependent world, these issues have to be a part of the broader civil rights struggle.
To succeed, today's movement must harken back to a time when those engaged in the struggle were deeply concerned not just about what happened within the U.S. borders, but also with oppression in colonial states on a global scale. In the modern world, with its multinational corporations and global markets for goods and services, the new civil rights movement must be a global human rights movement if it hopes to advance the goals of all of those who have been left out of the dream. And those who march for immigration reform here must also think globally -- about the plight of citizens who have, for too long, been denied justice.
The New York Times ran a story today about African Americans view of the recent immigration protests. It captures the ambivalence, which we have seen historically, among the Black community on the issue of immigration. Here is an excerpt:
In their demonstrations across the country, some Hispanic immigrants have compared the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle to their own, singing "We Shall Overcome" and declaring a new civil rights movement to win citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. Civil rights stalwarts like the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia; Julian Bond and the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery have hailed the recent protests as the natural progression of their movement in the 1960's. But despite some sympathy for the nation's illegal immigrants, many black professionals, academics and blue-collar workers feel increasingly uneasy as they watch Hispanics flex their political muscle while assuming the mantle of a seminal black struggle for justice. Some blacks bristle at the comparison between the civil rights movement and the immigrant demonstrations, pointing out that black protesters in the 1960's were American citizens and had endured centuries of enslavement, rapes, lynchings and discrimination before they started marching. Others worry about the plight of low-skilled black workers, who sometimes compete with immigrants for entry-level jobs.
For the full story, click here.
Will the recent immigration marches transform into a broader based civil rights movement? It will depend on no small part on whether African Americans and their civil rights concerns become part pf the movement.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
An exceprt from an op/ed in the LA Times on the immigration march in Los Angeles:
THE "Day Without Immigrants" protest drew hundreds of thousands of people to downtown Los Angeles on Monday, myself among them. But I was struck as much by what wasn't there as by what was. Although the marchers showed plenty of indignation, the march itself was virtually anger-free. Though they carried the flag, they carried no animus toward what it represented (in fact, their attitude was quite the opposite). Another absence I noticed was black people, like me. Threading my way through the crowds, I felt both inspired and unnecessary. The lack of anger may have had a lot to do with the presence of so many children. Adults were there not only to confront the establishment but to be role models for their kids. The peaceable tenor was unsurprising. The immigration reform movement may be agitating for change, namely in U.S. immigration law. But it is unlike the civil rights demonstrations of old, or the antiwar demonstrators of today, in that its main success so far has been simply showing the world what's been true all along. That truth is that illegal immigrants are irrefutably an integral part of the national economy. They stop working for a day and all sorts of quality-of-life services that the middle class of all colors has learned to take for granted come apart — child care, housecleaning, home repair, hotel maid service, gardening, janitorial and construction work, valet parking.
To see the rest, click here.