September 29, 2006
Call for Papers -- National Assoociation for Chicana and Chicano Studies
Call for Papers San José , CA April 4-7, 2007 submission deadline is October 22, 2006. Sociocultural and Ideological Shifts: Chicana/o Migratory Movements and Immigration Passages The theme for the 2007 meeting calls for an examination of movements within and across nation states and the social movements that emerge because of the policies that aim to restrict motion and the survival of a people. Chicana/o Studies has challenged, contested, and revised the ways in which scholars understand spatial arrangements and movement relations across nation states as well as within local and regional communities. Chicana/o Studies is a scholarly discipline that does not separate theory from practice, as such we aim to amplify the ways we study and examine individual, collective, and group experiences in relationship to race, class, gender, and sexual bounds that limit and mark the lived experiences of Chicanas/os in the United States. We have expanded race / ethnicity as conceptual categories to contest notions of binary constructs, to document mixed heritage and diasporic notions of our people and our communities. Studies of migration and immigration have focused on the movement of workers, with studies of indigenous field workers and poor peasants who migrate / immigrate to the United States as members of a class. Gender and sexuality mark the ways in which class and spatial migration organizes relations between men and women, premised on heterosexist notions that frame what we see and understand inside traditionalist, modernist, and postmodernist notions of relating. NACCS calls for papers that address the inherent contradictions of migration and immigration, class movements, social mobility, social justice movements, and displacement. Focus should be on social justice struggles that emerge from these shifts. Deadline for submissions is October 22, 2006. Go to http://www.naccs.org/
New Criminal Immigration Prosecution Data
Very timely criminal enforcement data from the Justice Department document that the federal government filed 3,345 criminal immigration prosecutions in June, the highest since September 2005 when 4,425 immigration cases were filed. The June figures represent an increase of 5.2% over the previous month, though only a slight change (up 0.8%) from a year ago. To see the reports on the latest criminal enforcement trends in Immigration, White Collar Crime, Drugs and Weapons, go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/bulletins/ The reports -- with extensive text and graphs -- also provide information on the role played in each of the four enforcement areas by the various investigative agencies, the most frequently used lead charges, the judicial districts with the largest number of prosecutions (per capita) and a list of the most active federal judges. June 2006 criminal data are also available to TRACFED subscription users via the Express and Analyzer tools. For more information, go to http://tracfed.syr.edu
New Class Action Suit
A class action has been filed challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s willful refusal to follow the precedent decision of the Ninth Circuit in Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, 379 F.3d 783 (9th Cir. 2004). The Ninth Circuit determined that individuals who have previously been removed or deported may apply for adjustment of status (under INA § 245(i)) along with an accompanying I-212 waiver application. The suit is brought by Northwest Immigrants Right Project, the American Immigration Law Foundation, and Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP. The case is Duran Gonzalez v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, C-06-1422, and was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington on Thursday, September 28, 2006. Click here for more details.
September 28, 2006
Tragedy in Houston
I have not known precisely how to approach the stories from Houston about the undocumented immigrant from Mexico who allegedly killed an African American Houston police officer (who left behind five orphaned children). It is a tragedy that makes me want to cry. My heart truly goes out to the family. For some details on the aftermath, click here.
I have read many of the press accounts of the anti-immigrant outburst now taking place in Houston. Many politicians and policy-makers unfortunately are trying to move their political agenda forward by capitalizing on this tragedy. The Minutemen have made their appearances in Houston and claim that the murder is one more reason to close the border. Local politicians want the police to crack down on immigrants. I understand the anger and sadness. But attacking immigrants will not bring the officer back. Even if the suspect is found guilty, most undocumented immigrants are, as President Bush has observed, peaceful and hard-working. I hope that calm and reason prevails over hate and mean-spiritedness. A glimmer of hope can be found in the local NAACP's stated support for LULAC, which in recent days has suffered a barrage of hate mail, criticism, and the like. Take good care, people of Houston. The nation is watching.
Senate Passes Detainee Bill Sought by President Bush
No real surprises but the Senate approved legislation this evening governing the interrogation and trials of terror suspects, establishing far-reaching new rules in the definition of who may be held and how they should be treated. The vote, 65-to-34, came after more than 10 hours of often impassioned debate touching on the Constitution, the horrors of Sept. 11 and the nation’s role in the world, but it was also underscored by a measure of politics as Congress prepares to break for the final month of campaigning before closely fought midterm elections. Click here for the full story from the New York Times.
Financial Aid for Undocumented Students
Here is a list of college and university scholarships that are open to undocumented students. This is an important list because undoumented students are not eligible for federal student loan programs and most other forms of financial aid:
Two More from the BIA
1. Matter of GUERRA, 24 I&N Dec. 37 (BIA 2006) -- bond redetemination. Click here.
2. Matter of JURADO, 24 I&N Dec. 29 (BIA 2006) -- removal on criminal grounds and cancellation of removal. Click here.
See the links or www.bibdaily.com for the headnotes.
AFL-CIO on Immigration
Organized labor, once extremely restrictionist in the immigration debate (with the idea that immigarnt labor drives down wages), has realized in recent years that, like it or not, undocumented immigrants are here to stay. The AFL-CIO concluded that efforts to organize undocumented immigrants made more sense that futile efforts to close the borders. For a summary of the AFL-CIO official policy on immigration, click here.
"Material support" provisions bar valid asylum seekers from relief
On Wednesday, State Department officials announced that the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. fell 23% in the past year. The reason for the decrease lies in the recently enacted "material support" provisions of immigration law, which bar entry to anyone who belongs to or has provided material support to armed rebel groups, even if that support was coerced and even if the armed groups fought alongside American troops or opposed authoritarian governments criticized by the Bush administration.
Rachel Swarns writes for the NYTimes:
The provisions have derailed the resettlement of thousands of refugees fleeing the authoritarian government of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma; hundreds of refugees from Vietnam and Laos who fought alongside American troops in the Vietnam War; and dozens of Cubans who supported armed groups opposed to Fidel Castro in the 60’s, according to the State Department and the United Nations refugee agency.
Many of the refugees were barred from the United States because, under the new laws, they are deemed supporters of terrorist groups, even though the organizations that they support do not appear on the State Department list of designated terrorist groups.
The full story is here. It's time for Congress to refine the vastly overbroad material support bars of the INA.
New Plenary Power Doctrine Article
Professor Brian Slocum, Florida Coastal School of Law, has an article will be published in the Winter 2007 issue of the Florida State University Law Review. Here it is Download PlenaryandStatutorychanged.doc: Here is an abstact:
There is a fundamental dichotomy in immigration law. On one hand, courts have consistently maintained that Congress has “plenary power” over immigration and reject most constitutional challenges on that basis. On the other hand, courts frequently use canons of statutory construction in an aggressive fashion to help interpret immigration statutes in favor of aliens. Immigration scholars have almost exclusively focused on the plenary power doctrine. They have either ignored the important role that canons have played in immigration law or have viewed canons as serving only a temporary and marginally legitimate role as substitutes for the lack of constitutional rights afforded aliens. In this Article, I defend canons and argue that they should be viewed as having a permanent and legitimate role in interpreting immigration provisions, even in cases where no constitutional issues are raised. I explain that part of the function of some canons is to require courts to sometimes adopt second-best interpretations of statutes. Contrary to the claims of some scholars, these interpretations do not add unpredictability to the law. While I defend the canons that courts have chosen to apply in immigration cases on normative grounds, the Court’s recent application of the canon of constitutional avoidance presents new concerns. The Court has recently transformed the canon, which requires courts to avoid serious constitutional issues through statutory interpretations, into a device that often gives aliens as a whole greater rights, at least temporarily, than would a decision that rested on constitutional grounds. The expansion of the canon of constitutional avoidance means that courts should be particularly careful when applying it in order to avoid unnecessarily disrupting Congress’s legislative designs.
The Costs of Deportation on Citizen Children
For a story of how the removals of noncitizens can have a devastating impact on U.S. citizen children, click here. Deysi Ramírez, an illegal immigrant mother, was stopped for a traffic violation and detained by authorities. Kayla, an American citizen born on U.S. soil, who like most children has little say about her future, yet now pays for an inconsistent U.S. immigration policy -- and for the mistakes that parents make.
Repatriation Bill Pending in Congress
From the office of Rep. Hilda Solis:
DEPRESSION-ERA U.S. CITIZENS UNJUSTLY REMOVED FROM U.S. COMEMORATE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH Support H.R. 5161 -- the Commission to Study the Removal of Mexican-Americans to Mexico.
During 1929-1941 Act Dear Colleague: During this Hispanic Heritage Month I ask you to join me in supporting H.R.5161, the Commission to Study the Removal of Mexican-Americans to Mexico During 1929-1941 Act, to bring to light the forced removal of U.S. citizens of Mexican ancestry to Mexico during the Great Depression. From 1929 to 1941, federal, state and local government authorities throughout the United States undertook an aggressive program to remove individuals of Mexican ancestry from the United States. As many as 1.2 million U.S. citizens living in California, Michigan, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico were forcibly removed. These raids separated U.S. citizens from their families and deprived them of their livelihoods and constitutional rights. To this day, no official inquiry into this mass removal of U.S. citizens has been made. Like the legislation which established a commission to study the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, H.R. 5161 would create a federal body to investigate the mass removals and to report its findings to Congress. This legislation has been endorsed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), The Dolores Huerta Foundation, American GI Forum and Bienestar Human Services Inc. If you would like more information or would like to co-sponsor this bill, please contact me or Eleonor Velasquez of my staff at 5-5464 or Eleonor.email@example.com.
Sincerely, /s/ HILDA L. SOLIS Member of Congress
Current Co-sponsors: Rep Berman, Rep. Becerra, Rep Doggett, Rep Emanuel, Rep. Farr, Rep Gutierrez, Rep Gonzalez, Rep. Grijalva, Rep Honda, Rep Jackson-Lee, Rep Lee, Rep Lofgren, Rep Lewis, Rep Matsui, Rep McDermott, Rep. Roybal-Allard, Rep. Schakowshy, Rep Wexler.
Good News From the Pacific Northwest: Ashcroft Not Fully Immune for Misdeeds
The Associated Press reports that former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft does not have absolute immunity from a lawsuit over the material witness policies the Justice Department used after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ruled Wednesday. Click here for the story.
Mae Ngai on Immigration Reform
In a Boston Review article entitled The Lost Immigration Debate, Mae M. Ngai looks at the modern debate over immigration reform and places it into its proper historical context. This summer the House Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation held public hearings on “Border Vulnerabilities and International Terrorism.” The goal was to build support for the enforcement-focused immigration-reform legislation passed by the House in December 2005. At the hearings, a border-patrol officer warned that terrorists would try to enter the United States disguised as Mexican illegal aliens. They might, he suggested, spend a few months in Mexico learning Spanish and tanning their skin. Then, “dressed like Mexicans,” they would use established alien-smuggling networks to sneak across the border into the United States. The particular image may be far-fetched, but national security has become a potent justification in the push for immigration reform. The argument that America has “lost control” of its southern border rallies support for a strong enforcement policy, even among those who are sympathetic to Mexican immigrants. Click here for full commentary.
September 27, 2006
New Jersey Town Quiet After New Law
Dave Ercolani is glad he's retiring and closing his hardware store. It could be tough to stay in business now that the township, not long ago teeming with recent arrivals from Brazil, has adopted one of the nation's toughest anti-immigration laws.
The town council adopted an ordinance in July that makes it a crime for businesses to knowingly employ undocumented immigrants or for landlords to rent to them. Even though the law isn't being enforced, its effects can be felt because of a fast loss of hundreds of residents who have left town since the law was adopted. Click here.
New Legal Maneuvers on the Border
Today, Louie Gilot of the El Paso Times reports that "U.S. officials have figured out a way to deal with 'spotters,' people who loiter on the international bridges, watching inspectors work and telling cars loaded with drugs when to cross. The officials will just arrest them."
In the past, Mexican citizens who were loitering on the bridge but who had not made a formal entry into the US were asked to return to the Mexican side. US law was not seen to apply to the bridge area, before a formal entry had been effected. But recently, immigration judge William Abbot of El Paso decided that US law applies on the international bridge. Abbott ordered the removal of Miguel Angel Cabrera Cruz, even though Cruz had been arrested on the bridge, prior to formal entry. He was brought by Custums and Border Patrol officials to the US side of the bridge, where he was ordered removed. A formal order of removal was entered against him.
The application of US law on the international bridge seems to result in rights under US law as well as obligations under that law. As the El Paso Times article notes, "[a]nother legal precedent reached in August and stemming from an El Paso case also said the laws of the United States apply on the international bridges: The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that non-U.S. citizens have constitutional rights at ports of entry."
The story is here: http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_4401734.
NW BIA PRECEDENT Decision -- On Precedential Impact of AG Decision
Matter of ROBLES, 24 I&N Dec. 22 (BIA 2006) (1) When the Attorney General overrules or reverses only one holding in a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals and expressly declines to consider any alternative holding in the case, the remaining holdings retain their precedential value. (2) Misprision of a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 4 (2000) is a crime involving moral turpitude. Matter of Sloan, 12 I&N Dec. 840 (A.G. 1968; BIA 1966), overruled in part. (3) Under the “stop-time” rule in section 240A(d)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(d)(1)(B) (2000), an offense is deemed to end an alien’s continuous residence as of the date of its commission, even if the offense was committed prior to the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546. Matter of Perez, 22 I&N Dec. 689 (BIA 1999), reaffirmed.
Click here for the full BIA ruling.
New Immigration Articles
Saxena, Monica. More than mere semantics: the case for an expansive definition of persecution in sexual minority asylum claims. 12 Mich. J. Gender & L. 331-357 (2006).
Sharpton, Blake. Comment. Detention of non-citizens: the Supreme Court's muddling of an already complex issue. 57 Mercer L. Rev. 1221-1259 (2006).
DHS Begins Deployment of e-Passport Readers Biometric security features advance border security and further reduce fraudulent document use
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completed deployment of e-Passport readers at San Francisco International Airport. Installation of the new readers is the first in a series of deployments that will continue at U.S. airports through the next few weeks to meet the October 26, 2006, congressional deadline requiring U.S. ports of entry to compare and authenticate data in e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries. Deployment of e-Passport readers is the next step in a process to further enhance the security of international travel documents while continuing to facilitate the flow of legitimate travel and trade to the United States. An e-Passport securely identifies the individual, defends against identity theft, protects privacy and makes it difficult for individuals to cross borders using fraudulent documents. The e-Passport carries the international e-Passport symbol on the cover and contains a contactless chip with the passport holder’s biographic information and a biometric identifier, such as a digital photograph of the holder. All e-Passports issued by VWP countries and the United States have a critical security feature which prevents the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the chip. The U.S. Border Security Act of 2002 requires that passports issued by VWP countries on or after October 26, 2006, must be e‑Passports to be valid for entry into the United States without a visa. These e‑Passports must comply with technical standards established by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Act also requires that U.S. ports of entry have the capability to compare and authenticate data from e‑Passports.