February 24, 2007
Bill Gates on Immigration Reform
Bill Gates long has advocated increasing employment-based immigration. In the Washington Post, he calls for improvement in our education system and immigration reform. On immigration reform, Gates specifically contends that
American competitiveness also requires immigration reforms that reflect the importance of highly skilled foreign-born employees. Demand for specialized technical skills has long exceeded the supply of native-born workers with advanced degrees, and scientists and engineers from other countries fill this gap.
Click here for the commentary.
ImmigrationProf Blog Hits 100,000 Milestone
Thanks to you loyal readers, the ImmigrationProf blog early this morning attained the milestone of 100,000 "hits." Since comining on-line on September 10, 2005, we have tried to keep you apprised of the latest immigration law developments. Thanks to Blog Emperor Paul Caron and to all of you for all your support!
February 23, 2007
Interesting Tidbits from Immigration Daily
Immigrant Integration In The United States And Europe: A Briefing To The Staff At The Open Society Institute On The European Learning Exchange, January 4, 2007 Donald Kerwin writes "while the United States has no formal integration policies, U.S. immigrants believe that they can become Americans. By contrast, the European Union has developed integration principles, goals, and even benchmarks, but many immigrants in Europe do not feel that they fully belong to their countries." http://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0226-kerwin.shtm
Discrimmigration Bill Dahl has a poem on immigration. http://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0226-dahl.shtm
Kevin Rooney Retires
Kevin Rooney announced Wednesday he is retiring as head of the Exexcutive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which includes the nation's immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals that reviews immigration appeals. According to the L.A. Daily Journal, news of Rooney's departure came in an e-mail to employees, in which the 62-year-old lawyer thanked them for their service and took a jab at the Justice Department. "Over the past few years, we had been unable to proceed with several management and policy initiatives because of budget constraints or the need for Department approval," he wrote.
Immigration Beyond Mexico/Latin America
Forum on Framing the Issue From A Global Perspective
Sponsored by the John George Democratic Club Forum
Date: Saturday, March 3, 2007
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm
Place: Prescott Joseph Center
920 Peralta Street (Near the 7th Street Post Office)
Oakland, CA 94607
Arnoldo Garcia - National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Larisa Casillas - Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
Nunu Kidane - Africa Priority Network
Osagie Enabulele - EDO Education Development Opportunities
Gerald Lenior - Black Alliance for Just Immigration
The Politics of Immigration Reform
For an interesting story suggesting that there is some truth behind the claims that current high profile immigration enforcement measures are motivated by the politics surrounding immigration reform, click here.
Campus Book Project
Every year, the UC Davis campus reads a book and holds a series of lectures and events to discuss the book. For the 2007-08 acadenic year, the book will be Pulitzer Prize finalist The Devil’s Highway: A True Story, by Luis Alberto Urrea. Through this book, UC Davis hopes to engage the nationwide debate over immigration. The Devil's Highway recounts a 2001 border incident in which 14 men died in the desert Southwest while attempting to cross from Mexico into Arizona. They were among a group of 26 men led by inexperienced "coyotes," or human smugglers. Published in 2004, The Devil's Highway was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction the next year. Click here for more about the book and the book project.
Hopefully, the book project will produce a civil dialogue on immigration and immigrants. Unfortunately civility often has been missing from the debate over immigration reform.
New Film on Juarez Murders
A documentary film by Lorena Mendez-Quiroga "Border Echoes-Ecos De Una Frontera," tells the story of the slayings of girls and women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, through the eyes of investigative reporter Diana Washington Valdez. The film, in English, chronicles the chilling story of the deaths that Amnesty International called "Intolerable Killings" in its 2003 report on Ciudad Juarez. Some victims were as young as 5 and 6 years old, and the majority of the victims were teenagers and young women. Although numerous suspects are in custody, activists and families of victims believe the Mexican authorities have not solved most of the crimes. The film explains why the murders are likely to continue. It also provides previously unreported and shocking details about the murders. Click here for more details.
Workplace Enforcement Continues
The NY Times reports that three executives of a national cleaning and maintenance company were indicted on Thursday on charges of defrauding the federal government of more than $18 million in employment taxes owed on behalf of hundreds of illegal immigrant workers. The company, Rosenbaum-Cunningham International, performed janitorial services for theme-restaurant chains like the House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe and Dave & Busters, as well as for the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Mich. Nearly 200 immigrant workers at some of the restaurants were arrested early Thursday in 17 states and the District of Columbia as part of the investigation of the company, which is being conducted by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service. Click here for the full story.
Anniversary of Border Shooting
Border Network Statement on the Fourth Anniversary of the Killing of Juan Patricio Peraza
February 22, 2007
Four years ago, in a cold morning on this same day, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed the young Mexican immigrant Juan Patricio Peraza. A wrongful judicial process took place that resulted in absolving the Border Patrol agent.
No evidence was enough to bring justice. It did not matter that Juan Patricio never presented a danger to the dozens of agents that had surrounded him. It did not matter that Border Patrol agents should have used non-lethal force to control the situation. It did not matter that most Federal Immigration Agents lacked appropriate training in the use of firearms against the civilian population. It did not matter the history of similar incidents of brutality and impunity of border enforcement agents.
It did not matter that Juan Patricio left everything behind to look for a better future for his family. It did not matter that they were not only killing a young Mexican man, but they were killing the hopes and aspiration of many that considered our country, the United States, a place of opportunity, fairness, but, moreover, of justice for all.
After the killing of Juan Patricio, other shooting incidents have occurred in our border region, some of them resulting in the death of immigrants. In San Diego, the Mexican immigrant Guillermo Valenzuela was shot and kill by a Border Patrol agent on December of 2005. In 2006, Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera was shot and kill by a Border Patrol agent in Arizona. In neither of these cases has justice been served.
These are not, and have never been, isolated incidents. They are part of a culture of abuse and a systematic lack of respect for the lives and rights of immigrant and border residents. Therefore, the border and immigrant communities of the Border Network for Human Right declare:
Justice must be served in the case of Juan Patricio Peraza. The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Defense ought to re-open the investigations of the killing and conduct a fair and moral process to restore the confidence in our judicial structure. This request is also extended for the killing of Guillermo Valenzuela and Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera.
The United States Congress must hold congressional hearing on the increasing use of lethal force by federal agents against immigrants and the civil population at the US/Mexico border.
The United States Congress must create a Independent Federal Review Commission to monitor, oversee, and make agents and agencies accountable to the US Constitution and to the people of the United States.
The Bush administration should intensively review the training and certification of Federal Immigration Agents, especially when it comes to the civil and human rights of border communities and in the use of non-lethal strategies during border enforcement operations.
Bringing justice to Juan Patricio is a responsibility of our society as a whole. Is a responsibility of every man and women that believes in our core values of accountability, respect, and humanity. Lets not fail.
We are all Juan Patricio!!!
In behalf of the Border Network for Human Rights
Border Network for Human Rights
2101-A Myrtle Ave
El Paso, TX 79901
February 22, 2007
Interesting New Book
Natsu Taylor Saito (Georgia State), From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay: Plenary Power and the Prerogative State (University Press of Colorado, 2007) Continuous expansion of executive power is igniting national debate: Is the administration authorized to detain people without charges or access to counsel, due process, or a fair trial? Is torture acceptable as long as it doesn't happen on U.S. soil? In a new study of the use of plenary power*the doctrine under which U.S. courts have allowed the exercise of U.S. jurisdiction without concomitant constitutional protection*Natsu Taylor Saito puts contemporary policies in historical perspective, illustrating how such extensions of power have been upheld by courts from the 1880s to the present. From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay also provides a larger context for understanding problems resulting from the exercise of plenary power. Saito explains how the rights of individuals and groups deemed Other by virtue of race or national origin have been violated under both the Constitution and international law. The differing treatment of José Padilla and John Walker Lindh*both Americans accused of terrorism*provides an example of such disparate approaches. Such executive actions and their sanction by Congress and the judiciary, Saito argues, undermine not just individual rights but the very foundations of our national security*democracy and the rule of law. From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay will interest readers concerned with the historical background of constitutional protection in times of war and peace and will provide fascinating new material for scholars, teachers, and students of law, history, and ethnic studies.
Yesterday the AP reported:
Federal prosecutors counted immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking among antiterror cases in the four years after Sept. 11 despite there being no evidence linking them to terror activity, a Justice Department audit found Tuesday.
NYU Republican "Illegal Immigrant" Game
A Republican student group in New York has sparked claims of racism by organizing a game called "Find the Illegal Immigrant". Students will act as immigration officers in Thursday's game and try to find a student in a crowd designated with a badge as the illegal immigrant.
The game has sparked protests from other students with hundreds planning to demonstrate against it.
The New York University College Republican club denied it was racist. It says the game is intended to raise awareness on immigration issues in the United States. Click here.
REAL ID Article
Professor (and Broadway star (here) Daniel Kanstroom (Boston College) has a new article entitled "The Better Part of Valor: The REAL ID Act, Discretion, and the 'Rule' of Immigration Law." Here is a link to the abstract: http://lsr.nellco.org/bc/bclsfp/papers/191/
Download the paper: http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1192&context=bc/bclsfp
This article considers the problems raised by a federal law--the “REAL ID Act”--that seeks to preclude judicial review of discretionary immigration law decisions. Discretion, the flexible shock absorber of the administrative state, must be respected by our legal system. However, as Justice Felix Frankfurter once wrote, discretion is, “only to be respected when it is conscious of the traditions which surround it and of the limits which an informed conscience sets to its exercise.” The article suggests that judicial construction of the REAL ID Act will plumb the deep meaning of this qualification.
For the latest (Feb. 22) Ninth Circuit pronouncement on the review of "questions of law" under REAL ID, click here. Thanks for Cappy White for this tip!
Southern California Catholics Encouraged to Support Immigration Reform
The L.A. Times (here) ran a story Roman Catholic leaders in Orange and Los Angeles counties marked Ash Wednesday — the start of a season of repentance and reflection — with a plea to Catholics and others to commit themselves to immigration reform. Recall that LA Archbishop Roger Mahony publicly objected to the punitive nature of the Sensenbrenner Bill, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2005. It is uncertain to me whether religious leaders as a general matter will lend moral authority to immigration reform.
February 21, 2007
Civil Asset Forefeiture a New Immigration Enforcement Tool?
It appears that civil asset forefeiture is being used as a new immigration enforcement tool.
Last August, the Department of Homeland Security (here) announced that two labor companies, the president of these companies, and two of their corporate officers pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati to conspiring to provide hundreds of illegal aliens to work for a national air cargo firm in Wilmington, Ohio. The maximum penalty for the crime for each individual is ten years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The companies face a maximum punishment of five years probation, and fines of $500,000 or twice the gain they received from the crime. One individual defendant's plea agreement also calls for him to forfeit $12,000,000 representing the proceeds of the crime and the property used to commit the crime.
In October 2006, government officials announced (here) that two Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies that have received payments totaling more than $2,500,000 from the Department of Homeland Security, payments representing shares of a landmark $15 million global civil and criminal settlement arising out an investigation into the alleged hiring of illegal aliens by independent contractors who provided cleaning services to Wal-Mart stores. According to federal officials, the following agencies have received asset forfeiture equitable sharing payments as a result of their crucial roles in this joint five year investigation, which culminated in 2005:
Office of Attorney General, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania $2,254, 511.30
Honesdale Police Department, Honesdale, Pennsylvania $253,632.52
In the "war on drugs," there have long been allegations of abuse of civil asset forefeitures, with an alleged emphasis on raising funds for strapped local governments. Query whether we will see similar allegations as civil asset forefeiture is used in the enforcement of the immigration laws.
Given the hefty sums gained by the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the local Pennsylvania police department (Honesdale), we should expect state and local governments to be eager in the future to assist in immigration enforcement.
Voter ID laws depress voting rates
While federal law requires only of first-time voters to verify their identity, many states have imposed additional voter ID requirements (sometimes in response to concerns about noncitizen voter fraud). New data suggests that such ID requirements have resulted in lower voting rates, particularly among minority voters. "States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities, new research suggests." Christopher Drew's NYTimes story today gives an overview of the data and the debate over its significance. That story is here.
Mexican Immigration: Costs and Benefits
WEIGHING THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF MEXICAN IMMIGRATION: The Mexican American Perspective
Assistant Professor of Sociology, UCSD, Visiting Research Fellow, CCIS
Tuesday, February 27, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
Reception to follow
Survey research posits that Mexican Americans’ perceptions of the costs and benefits of immigration drive their opinions about immigration, but this research does not provide a clear picture of how Mexican Americans calculate these costs and benefits. This talk will explain how Mexican Americans calculate the costs and benefits of Mexican immigration using 123 in-depth interviews and observations with later-generation Mexican Americans in Garden City, Kansas, and Santa Maria, California. Mexican Americans’ perceptions of the costs and benefits of Mexican immigration are based not only on economic considerations, but on social and cultural consideration structured by prevailing and often paradoxical ideologies. Their structural position increases concerns about status degradation resulting from immigration, but also shapes how they are positioned to benefit from the boost in prominence that immigration provides to the entire Mexican-origin population.
Tomás Jiménez is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on immigration, assimilation, and ethnic identity. He is particularly interested in these topics as they relate to the Mexican-origin population.
These seminars are open to all members of the UCSD community, as well as faculty and students from other universities and the general public. For directions to CCIS, visit our website Parking permits can be purchased at the information booth on North Point Drive (north end of campus). Visitors may also use metered parking spaces (max. 2 hours) in the North side parking lot. Papers previously presented at CCIS seminars can also be downloaded from our website under “Working Papers.” For further information, please contact Tatis Cervantes (E-mail: email@example.com, Tel#: 858-822-4447).
S Ct Denies Cert in Removal Case Based on Criminal Grounds
The Supreme Court denied cert in Rasid v. Gonzales, 2007 U.S. LEXIS 2162 (Feb. 20, 2007) and declined to consider the case of a Pakistani man living in Colorado who is facing deportation because of a fist fight. Haroon Rashid, a U.S. resident for 10 years, has a wife and four American-born minor children. In 2004, he was convicted of simple assault, a misdemeanor in Colorado, for getting into a fight after being taunted about his ethnic background. However, the Tenth Circuit found that the crime was a "crime of violence" and thus an "aggravated felony," subjecting Rasid to detention and deportation. See Rashid v. Gonzales, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 20044 (10th Cir. Aug. 3, 2006) (unpublished). Rashid has been detained for several years, first on immigration-related criminal charges involving a family member that the government ultimately dropped, now on the removal proceeding based on the assault.
For a Denver Post story about Rashid's deportation case, click here.
New Border Measures Having an Impact? Let's Wait and See
The N.Y. Times (here) reports that the heightened border enforcement efforts over the last few months have deterred migration from Mexico. According to the Times, all along the border, there are signs that the measures the Border Patrol and other federal agencies have taken over the last year are beginning to slow the flow of illegal immigrants. The only available barometer of the decline, however, is how many migrants are caught. In the last four months, the number has dropped 27 percent compared with the same period last year, the biggest drop since a crackdown immediately after 9/11.
We will have to wait and see whether the border measures are effective in the longer run.