December 9, 2006
Wichita Company Fined $210,000 for Hiring Undocumented Workers
A Wichita company, its owner and its general manager will pay fines totaling $210,000 in a plea agreement with federal prosecutors over an alleged scheme to hire undocumented immigrants.
Bob Eisel Power Coatings Inc., 3500 S. Hoover St.; Bob Eisel, owner and president; and Kenric "Butch" Steinert, general manager; were named in a 28-count indictment last August. They were charged with routinely employed Mexican nationals, knowing they were providing false identification.
Federal prosecutors say the company was warned that employees were using false Social Security numbers and in response, Eisel and Steinert allegedly helped the employees get different numbers to help them keep their jobs. Click here.
Immigration Statistics Galore
The U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) has released the 2005 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. The Yearbook provides data on foreign nationals who, during fiscal year 2005, were granted lawful permanent residence, were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis, applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. It also presents data on immigration law enforcement actions. It is available at: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/yearbook/2005/OIS_2005_Yearbook.pdf
The OIS also released Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2005, which presents information on apprehensions, investigations, detention, and removal of foreign nationals during fiscal year 2005. The report is available at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/yearbook/2005/Enforcement_AR_05.pdf
2005 ANNUAL FLOW REPORTS
The Annual Flow Reports have replaced the text chapters in the earlier editions of the Yearbook. The reports are available on the OIS website, and include:
Legal Permanent Residents: 2005 http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/USLegalPermEst_5.pdf
Refugee and Asylees: 2005 http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/Refugee_Asylee_5.pdf
Naturalizations in the United States: 2005 http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/2005NatzFlowRpt.pdf
Temporary Admissions of Nonimmigrants to the United States: 2005 http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/2005_NI_rpt.pdf
2005 YEARBOOK DATA AVAILABLE ON LINE The 2005 Yearbook tables are available in Excel format at: http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/publications/yearbook.shtm
To join the listserve receive OIS updates, send an e-mail with your name, mailing address, and organizational affiliation to email@example.com
The Link Between English Only and Anti-Immigrant Laws
www.breitbart.com has a crisp story about the link between the English-Only movement and anti-immigrant ordinances in many cities in the United States. Fed up with perceived federal government inaction on illegal immigration, a growing number of American towns are literally taking the law into their own hands adopting controversial and, some say, illegal legislation. From making English the official language of local government to banning foreign flags, more than 30 cities or municipalities across the country in recent months have adopted anti-immigrant measures. Click here for the story.
There long has been a link betweeen English-only and anti-immigrant activists. John Tanton, for example, has been a foundational leader of national organizations advocating English-only (U.S. English) and restrictionist laws and policies (Federation for American Immigration Reform).
Disabled and Elderly Refugees and Asylees Sue Federal Government
Elderly and disabled humanitarian immigrants fleeing persecution abroad are filing a class action lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia against the federal government to restore their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. These benefits — paid to severely disabled, blind and elderly poor people — were cut off because, despite the immigrants’ best efforts, they have not been able to become U.S. citizens due to governmental delays. The lawsuit is being filed by Community Legal Services, the Hebrew and Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and Council Migration Service and pro bono counsel at the Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. The named plaintiffs are refugees and asylees who have been welcomed into the country based on the long-standing national policy offering refuge to those at risk for their lives abroad. These lawful immigrants are being terminated from the subsistence SSI benefit that the Social Security Administration provides to low income disabled, blind and elderly people. SSI pays $603 a month to a person, $904 monthly to a couple. To see the complaint, click here. For the press relese, click here.
December 8, 2006
Paper on Skills-Based Immigration System
From the Immigration Policy Center:
Attracting the Best and the Brightest:
The Promise and Pitfalls of a Skill-Based Immigration Policy
by Kara Murphy
One question that recently received heightened attention from lawmakers is whether or not immigrants should be admitted to the United States less on the basis of family ties and more on the basis of the skills they can contribute to the U.S. economy. Today, the most common way permanent immigrants enter the United States legally is through sponsorship by a family member already in the country. By contrast, nations such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom admit immigrants primarily for employment reasons, based on a point system. Points are assigned on the basis of educational level, professional skills, proficiency in the host countrys language, and other qualities that increase immigrants likelihood of integrating into the host countrys labor market. Although some of the practices associated with a point-based immigration system might benefit the U.S. economy, policymakers should be careful not to assume that such a system would be a panacea for the widespread dysfunction of U.S. immigration policies.
Read a complete summary of the report here.
Read the entire report here.
Immigrant Rights Activities in El Paso
Border Network for Human Rights
For Immediate Release:
December 7, 2006
As the New Congress Gear Up, Border and Immigrant Communities to Present Human Rights Report of the Border and Walk Miles
“Communities call for Real Border and Immigration Solutions on the International Human Rights Day”
On December 9, 2006
What: Release of the report “Status of Human Rights at the Border 2006”
Border Network for Human Rights will be releasing its annual “Status of Human Rights at the Border” Report 2006. The presentation will focus on the various human rights concerns expressed by our communities in Southern New Mexico & the El Paso Region. This report will address the several border enforcement policies and practices (lack of an accountability process, local agencies enforcing federal immigration laws, the deaths at the border, the national guard etc.) and their impact on our community.
When and Where: Saturday December 9, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. in front of the El Paso County Sheriffs Office (County Building- 800 E. Overland)
On December 10, 2006
What: 10 mile Walk/Trek for Human Rights and Rally
Along with the release, border and immigrant communities of West Texas and Southern New Mexico are sponsoring “10 mile Walk for Human Rights” in their communities commemorating International Human Rights Day and calling for the recognition of human rights here in the United States. Immigrant families will walk ten miles carrying banners reading “Bring Human Rights Home” and “Just and Humane Immigration Reform”. At the end of the walk, at 5:00 pm, a Rally will be held in the Plaza de Lagartos (San Jacinto)
When and Where: On Sunday December 10th from 9:00am to 6:00pm. The Walk begins at 9:00am at McRae and Montana (Shopping Center) and continues on Montana all the way to the Plaza de Lagartos
Other Cities: Walks for Human Rights are also happening in Tucson, AZ, New Jersey and San Jose CA.
Who: Immigrant families and their supporters from El Paso-New Mexico Region will participate in this walk for human rights that is being organized by Border Network for Human Rights, in conjunction with the Border Community Alliance for Human Rights (BCAHR) –a newly formed alliance that is bringing the voices of border and immigrant communities into the national debate on immigration policy.
Why: Despite national uncertainty as to when & whether the new Congress will resume immigration reform debate in Washington, border and immigrant communities are not letting up on their calls for a path to permanent residency and human rights on the border. Even though Congress is tentative on the issue, border residents anticipate an intense national and local fight for policy reform. The Walk for Human Rights coincides with a recent event: on November 30th, border communities and White House staff met in Washington DC to discuss alternative border enforcement policies and practices that can ensure community security and human rights.
Visuals & Interviews: Immigrants and border residents who can share their experiences and policy solutions; multiple banners, signs and t-shirts carrying message of the Walks; press packets including analysis of border and immigration policies and principles to guide its reform.
Contact: Fernando Garcia, Director (915)204-0337 or Betty Camargo (915) 494-1239
Somalis in Maine
The December 11 issue of the New Yorker (p. 45) has an article "New in Town: The Somalis of Lewiston" by William Finnegan writes about the Somali community of Lewiston, Maine. In the past five years, some three thousand refugees from Somalia have flocked to this old mill town of thirty-six thousand residents. View a slide show by clicking the link here. The article offers a fascinating account of the growing Somail community in Llewiston and its trials and tribulations. Ooverall, tensions have been at a minimum despite anecessary adjusrtments by both established residents and the newcomers.
Interim BIA Rule
Download EOIRTempMembBIAFR.rtf Issued on December 7, 2007, this interim rule amends the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) regulations relating to the organization of the Board of Immigration Appeals by adding four Board member positions, thereby expanding the Board to 15 members. This rule also expands the list of persons eligible to serve as temporary Board members to include senior EOIR attorneys with at least ten years of experience in the field of immigration law.
Lory Rosenbery, a former BIA member, posted the following comments on the interim rule on the Immprof listserve:
. . . Note: This rule is issued contemporaneously with some in the Senate interested in considering statutory reform of the BIA's administration and practices]. Notably, there are presently 3 temporary members of the 11 members on the BIA, leaving 8 full permanent Board Members. This rule would permit (an apparently intended) appointment of 4 more temporary members so that, of 15 members, there would be the Chairman plus an equal number of 7 permanent and 7 temporary members. Internal appointments would completely avoid the recruitment process and would allow EOIR to avoid consideration of the benefits of diversity among adjudicatory personnel. Of the 8 permanent Board members serving today, one is an African American woman and one is an Hispanic man, yet the 3 temporary appointments made were of three Caucasian men. This practice also perpetuates the absolute dominance of Board Members who are perennial federal government employees without any private or nonprofit practice or related immigration experience. The rule makes no mention of the fact that when the Ashcroft purge reduced the Board from 19 to 11 members in 2003, individual members either left in anticipation of removal, or "voluntarily" took other positions in the EOIR. Any Board openings could be offered to those individuals, who were fully vetted and had been appointed to those positions and then forced out. Half the members on the BIA would have no voice in en banc conferences and decisions, based on the unsubstantiated and questionable contention that " permanently expanding the Board beyond a certain number would be likely to" . . . "impair its ability to review cases en banc." This specious argument -- that more than 11 members cannot have a meaningful or effective en banc conference -- is belied by the fact that the 238 precedent decisions issued in the 7.5 years between September 1995 and May 2003 were issued en banc (with the exception of a few 3 member precedents) when the Board had 12 or more members.
In any event, the interim rule would not seem likley to put much of a dent into teh large backlog or meaningfully improve the quality of BIA decision-making, which has been much criticized in recent years by, among others, Judge Richard Posner.
Economic Impact of Undocumented in Texas
Yesterday, Jennifer Chacon posted a piece on the effect of undocumented on the economy in Texas. Below is link to a story on the report.
Apparently, undocumented immigrants produced $1.58 billion in state fees and taxes in 2005, but local governments bore the burden of $1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state, according to a state report.
Undocumented immigrants paid $513 million in local taxes in fiscal year 2005, according to the report, released Thursday by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. When combined with the $1.58 billion in state fees and taxes, the overall revenue that illegal immigrants produced exceeded the $1.16 billion in state services, such as education, they received, Strayhorn said.
But local governments see a negative impact on costs, the report stated.
"While state revenues exceed state expenditures for undocumented immigrants by more than an estimated $420 million, local governments experience the opposite, with the estimated difference being more than $920 million for 2005," Strayhorn said. Click here.
Invariably, the problems with any reports of this nature are that they fail to calculate the positive effect of spending by undocumented immigrants, such as in job creation and other economic activity. Furthermore, the fact that most tax dollars paid by immigrants--documented and undocumented--goes to federal coffers apparently is ignored in this particular report.
I've always thought that the most helpful book on this topic is Julian Simon's "The Economic Consequences of Immigration."
New Anti-Immigrant Groups May Not Be What They Seem
Pro-immigrant advocacy organizations say Vietnamese for Fair Immigration, a new anti-immigrant group, may be one of an increasing number of groups that appear to be nonwhites gathering to ask for greater immigration controls, but are actually groups started with help from whites or from major, mostly white anti-immigrant groups that are seeking greater legitimacy for their views. Earlier this year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, one of the nation's largest immigration control groups, created and backed a group called Choose Black America, which was supposed to be an organization created by blacks who feel illegal immigration has hurt blacks. But its leaders later acknowledged their kickoff press conference in May was funded by FAIR. And they were unable to name any of Choose Black America's members when asked. "Because the (immigration control) movement is overwhelmingly white, there's a great desire to throw off the accusations of racism," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which has tracked such groups and broke the story about Choose Black America. "And the easier way to do that is to have groups that are not white. I think that is what is going on in many, many cases." Click here for a story on this new development.
December 7, 2006
Undocumented Migration Boosts Texas Economy
A report from the Texas Comprollers Office, released this week, concludes that undocumented migrants contribute $17 billion to the Texas economy and that they produce more in state revenues than they use in state services. The losers appear to be local governments. "Local governments bore the burden of $1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state," said Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the Comptroller.
More on the report can be found in today's El Paso Times, here.
Once again, the numbers show not that immigrants create an overall economic drain -- quite the contrary -- but that our nonsensical legal regime ensures continuous misallocation of the costs and benefits of migration. And, although it is not discussed in the report, the numbers on incarceration, etc., certainly suggest that the increasing criminalization of migration is hugely costly and counterproductive.
ICE Training for Local Law Enforcement Officers
Carpentersville trustees voted to pursue immigration enforcement training for several police officers under a federal program provided by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Several trustees said it will be used to curb crime by illegal immigrants.
The training will be free for what Police Chief David Neumann said will be two to four officers whom he expects to be selected from a pool of volunteers. The officers will act as an extension of federal immigration agents and be supervised by an agent, Neumann said.
The resolution, approved 5-1 at Tuesday's board meeting, requests additional funding for computer software and other equipment. The software would give police access to the federal government's immigration database, Trustee Judy Sigwalt said.
The resolution provoked arguments from Trustee Linda Ramirez Sliwinski, the lone dissenter. She said the resolution was another effort by Sigwalt and Trustee Paul Humpfer to help pass an ordinance aimed at cracking down on undocumented immigrants. Click here.
Justice Breyer Stays Deportation
Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer on Wednesday delayed the imminent deportation to Pakistan of a man who is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S Harood Rashid has lived in the U.S. since 1997, his wife is a naturalized citizen and his four children are American-born citizens. He faces deportation for a conviction under Colorado state law of misdemeanor assault. That grows out of an incident in which he struck a teenager who, he has said, had "ethinically harassed him." (The stay application was Rashid v. Gonzales, 06A557. A copy of the application can be found at scotusblog. Breyer's order delays Rashid's forced removal to Pakistan until after the Supreme Court can act on his pending appeal from a ruling by the Tenth Circuit Court. His petition for review contends that the Circuit Courts are split on whether a misdemeanor assault conviction constitutes an "aggravated felony" involving violence or the threat of violence, for purposes of federal immigration law and its deportation provisions. The petition presents this question: "As a question of law, was legal permanent resident alien Petitioner's conviction of third degree misdemeanor assault an 'aggravated felony' for the purpose of deportation under Section 237-a-2-A-iii of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, 8 USC 1227-a-2-A-iii." (A copy of the body of the petition can be found at scotusblog.) Although the Tenth Circuit ruled that the Colorado offense of misdemeanor assault is not a crime of violence under state law or under two federal immigration provisions, it nonetheless ruled that, in Rashid's case, it can be treated as a violent felony because he had asserted a self-defense argument in court and, in doing so, had admitted he used force to make his defense. The Tenth Circuit initially had delayed his deportation pending Supreme Court action on his appeal there, but then changed its mind and lifted its stay. It did so after the Justice Department contended that Rashid had waived his claim that his crime in Colorado was not a crime of violence. After his conviction in Arapahoe County of assault, Rashid was sentenced to 35 days in jail. He has been held in federal cutody for more than three years under criminal charges that have now been dismissed. His attorneys have said that government officials had attempted to tie him to the war on terrorism in Afghanistant because his family has roots along the Pakistan-Afghan border. His attorneys have said that his deportation "for a simple misdemeanor county court conviction after many years of federal imprisonment wihtout trial or conviction is not fair and is not just, and is not in the public interest."
This is the second sign this week the Supreme Court will not take the hardest of lines in cases involving immigrants with criminal convictions. On Tuesday, in Lopez v. Gonzales, the Court ruled, by an 8-1 vote, that conviction of a drug crime that is a felony under state law but only a misdemeanor under federal law is not kind the kind of offense that triggers potential deportation. The Lopez decisions sounds very relevant to the issues in Rashid v. Gonzales, which also involves a state misdemeanor conviction. My guess is that Rashid is a possible candidate for vacation and remand for further consideration in light of the decision in Lopez v. Gonzales.
Comments on the New Passport Requirement
Soon, due to a change in policy, U.S. citizens will need passports to renter the country from Mexico and Canada. An interesting collection of commentsm mostly protests, from a small New Hampshire town located on the Canadian border can be found be clicking here. The passport requirement seems to be a move contrary to the reduction of border controls in the European Union. We will see how it works in practice. But expect a snag or two in the beginning.
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH NETWORK IMMIGRATION, REFUGEE & CITIZENSHIP LAW ABSTRACTS Vol. 5, No. 32: December 6, 2006
"The Economic Impact of International Labor Migration: Recent Estimates and Policy Implications" University of Pennsylvania, Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 06-26 University of Pennsylvania Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 06-44 Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2007 Contact: HOWARD F. CHANG University of Pennsylvania Law School Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=17330 Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=946204
"Brain Drain and Inequality Across Nations" Institute for the Study of Labor Discussion Paper No. 2440 Contact: FREDERIC DOCQUIER SES, Ministere de la Region Wallone, Belgium, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=147723 Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=947463
"Remittances and the Brain Drain" Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 214 Contact: RICCARDO FAINI Università di Roma Due Tor Vergata, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=48660 Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=918433
"Immigration and the Neighborhood" Contact: ALBERT SAIZ University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School - Real Estate Department, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=236677 Co-Author: SUSAN M. WACHTER University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=58534 Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=931733
"Su Voto es Su Voz: Incorporating Limited English Proficient Voters into American Democracy" Boston College Law Review, 2007 Contact: JOCELYN M. BENSON Wayne State University - School of Law Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=492903 Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=937966
December 6, 2006
New Immigration Books
Aneesh, A. (Aneesh), Virtual migration : the programming of globalization. Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, 2006
Crosnoe, Robert. Mexican roots, American schools : helping Mexican immigrant children succeed. Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2006.
Germain, Regina. AILA's asylum primer : a practical guide to U.S. asylum law and procedure / Regina Germain. 4th ed Washington, DC : American Immigration Lawyers Association, c2005
Papagianni, Georgia. Institutional and policy dynamics of EU migration law. Leiden, The Netherlands Boston : M. Nijhoff, c2006
Racial transformations : Latinos and Asians remaking the United States / edited by Nicholas De Genova. Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, c2006
Filing Fees to Rise to Ease Backlogs
The fees immigrants pay for citizenship and permanent residency petitions will rise as officials try to prevent more backlogs in the system, the director of the nation's immigration service said Tuesday.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez said the amount of the increases is still being determined, but expects it to be significant.
"I envision that it'll go up a fair amount," he said during a visit to Dallas. "We're a business. We're not allowed to be deficient."
Currently, immigrants applying for citizenship pay $330 or $325 for permanent residency documentation known as a "green card." Applicants also pay a $70 fingerprinting fee. They could see the new prices for immigration petitions by April, Gonzalez said. Click here.
December 5, 2006
Transcript to Oral Argument on Immigration Case Before U.S. Supreme Court
For the transcript to the oral argument before the Supreme Court today in Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, click here. The question in this case is whether the unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, in violation of the California Vehicle Code, is a deportable "theft offense" under federal immigration law even though the statute covers aiding-and-abetting liability. In the decision below, the Ninth Circuit held that it was not. Dan Himmelfarb, an Assistant to the Solicitor General, argued for the United States. Christopher J. Meade, of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, argued for respondent Duenas-Alvarez.
New Forced Migration: Law and Policy Casebook
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
We are very pleased to let you know about our new casebook, which will be published by Thomson West in February or March 2007. Its title is Forced Migration: Law and Policy, and it includes materials on asylum, refugees, the Convention Against Torture, temporary protection schemes, and a variety of related topics. The principal focus is U.S. law and policy, but we have leavened the mix with comparative materials from a variety of countries. This new casebook is based on the chapter on refugees and asylum in the Immigration and Citizenship casebook that three of us have co-authored for some time. We have welcomed Maryellen Fullerton to our ranks for this project (and for the next edition of the Immigration and Citizenship casebook as well), and the four of us have drawn on that chapter for our Forced Migration volume. But as the title suggests, this new casebook not only significantly reorganizes and expands that material, but also reflects our effort to rethink the evolving conceptual architecture of this field. Though the published book won't be available for a few months, we are announcing publication now in case you would be interested in using the page proofs for a spring semester course or seminar, or for course proposals for 2007-08 that may be due to your dean or curriculum committee in the winter months. The book is designed for use in a three-hour law school course, but with judicious paring can be readily used for a two-hour course or as the foundation of a seminar. We've set out the summary table of contents below. If you would like to see a copy of the detailed table of contents or the proofs (which we expect to make available as PDF files), please contact Hiroshi Motomura at firstname.lastname@example.org .edu or 919-962-4126. Best wishes, David Martin Alex Aleinikoff Hiroshi Motomura Maryellen Fullerton
State Senator's Wife Faces Deportation
The Colombia-born wife of a Georgia state senator emerged from hiding and turned herself in Tuesday to face a deportation order, but an immigration judge lifted the order and she was expected to be freed.
Sascha Herrera, 28, who had gone into hiding after the order was issued, arrived at the Martin Luther King Federal Building shortly before 8 a.m. and met with the judge and attorneys for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office.
Government lawyer Terry Bird said the judge lifted the order and agreed to reopen her case. He said she would likely be freed Tuesday pending a hearing on a petition filed by Herrera's husband, state Sen. Curt Thompson, to establish permanent residency for her. The hearing has yet to be scheduled. Click here.