Saturday, March 22, 2008
The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Tashima, affirmed the dismissal on standing grounds of a federal RICO (so-called racketeering) case based on alleged violation of the immigration laws:
"This case involves an Idaho county’s attempt to recover damages under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968, for additional monies it claims to have expended on public health care and law enforcement services for undocumented immigrants. Plaintiff-appellant Canyon County commenced this action against four companies and one individual under RICO’s civil enforcement provision, 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c), alleging that defendants engaged in an illegal scheme of hiring and/or harboring undocumented immigrant workers within the County, and that their actions forced the County to pay “millions of dollars for health care services and criminal justice services for the illegal immigrants.” ... [T]he judgment of the district court dismissing the County’s federal RICO claims is AFFIRMED." Canyon County v. Syngenta Seeds, Mar. 21, 2008.
As it turns out, RICO cases based on immigration violations have not been particularly successful.
Andrea Guerrero, an attorney in San Diego and author of Silence at Boalt Hall: The Dismantling of Affirmative Action (UC Press 2002), writes here about why she supports Barack Obama for President. Besides of writing of Obama's humane vision on civil rights and immigration issues, she writes, in part, that
"[a]s an attorney and a civil rights advocate I am deeply concerned about the apparent willingness of Hillary Clinton to forsake due process and other protections for immigrants (legal and illegal) in her attempted ascendancy to the presidency. As described in the article below, Clinton wants to strip due process rights (the right to defend oneself from deportation in court) from legal permanent residents who have committed a criminal offense, no matter how minor. She would make an already exceedingly punitive deportation system that rips apart families even more punitive and inhumane.
I have spent the last seven years trying to challenge the laws signed by Bill Clinton which expanded the list of crimes for which legal immigrants could be deported and stripped due process rights from them. As a result I have seen families torn apart because of punitive deportation laws that far exceed the criminal consequences of a crime."
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking for the No-Match Rule previously issued on August 15, 2007. According to DHS, this rulemaking addresses three issues cited in a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California enjoining the August 2007 No-Match Rule. "We are serious about immigration enforcement. The No-Match Rule is an important tool for cracking down on illegal hiring practices while providing honest employers with the guidance they need," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "This supplement specifically addresses the three grounds on which the district court based its injunction. We have also filed an appeal and are pursuing these two paths simultaneously to get a resolution as quickly as possible."
The original No-Match Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published on June 14, 2006, and the comment period was open for 60 days. The department then incorporated the comments and issued a final rule on August 15, 2007. DHS is requesting public comment on the Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking for 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
For the DHS Press Release and link to the amended rule, click here.
The Washington Post reports on the amended rule and criticism. BusinessWire concludes that the "announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calls for the nation’s employers to police for undocumented workers and moves employers to the forefront of the debate on illegal immigration. Under the new regulations, DHS will use the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) No-Match Letter program to drive employers to resolve social security number (SSN) and W-2 discrepancies or face criminal and civil proceedings."
Lisa Frydman, Staff Attorney Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings, reports on two new resources on the Center's website.
First, the Center recently updated the international gender asylum guidelines page, which summarizes the present treatment of gender in national and EU refugee law. http://cgrs.uchastings.edu/law/gender_guidelines.php.
Second, former student intern, Meghann Boyle's, article, "Paths to Protection: Ideas, Resources, and Strategies for Presenting Central American Gang-related Asylum Claims," published in the November issue of Immigration Briefings is also available at: http://cgrs.uchastings.edu/law/articles.php
Frydman also encourages folks to visit the Center's website to learn more about what you can do to support the campaign to reverse In re A-T- and defend women's rights. In re A-T, 24 I. & N. Dec. 296 (BIA 2007) is the BIA decision holding that female genital cutting (FGC) is a one time harm that cannot be repeated and that as a result, the presumption of a well-founed fear of persecution is overcome for women who have suffered past FGC.
A Message from David DeCosse, Director of Campus Ethics Programs Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University:
I'm writing here to invite your input for an effort called "The Santa Clara Statement on Ethics, Amnesty, and Immigration: A Memo to the 2008 Candidates."
We at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University envision the creation of a 600 to 750-word statement that responds to the central ethical and legal arguments behind the claims that the legalization of the undocumented immigrants in the United States is an unacceptable "amnesty."
We believe that such arguments are at the core of the stalemate in the current immigration debate in the U.S. We hope the creation, publication, and dissemination of such a statement will provide a resource for political candidates around the country. We're under no illusions that such a statement in itself can quickly change the emotionally-loaded debate over immigration. But we also believe that the arguments that invoke the threat of "amnesty" should be addressed, and we believe that such an effort could in time influence the policy debate.
The statement that we envision would combine both ethical and legal analysis. We believe that beneath the legal arguments against amnesty are crucial questions of values and ethics. So, in particular, I am interested in seeking input from those visiting this site in response to the following questions:
1. What do you think are the central arguments that are being used when people say that any legalization effort is an unacceptable "amnesty"?
2. What do you think are key weaknesses/strengths of these arguments -- in ethical terms, in legal terms?
3. Are there any key resources to which you would point us for crucial background on this matter?
PLEASE SEND ANY RESPONSES -- EVEN BRIEF ONES WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL -- TO DDECOSSE@SCU.EDU
We are planning to draft this statement on Thursday, April 24, here at Santa Clara University. This meeting will be part of a day on campus devoted to a series of events on immigration, culminating in a speech that evening on ethical issues and immigration by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.
Director of Campus Ethics Programs Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Santa Clara University T:408-554-5715 F:408-554-2373 email@example.com
Friday, March 21, 2008
Nina Bernstein of the NY Times reports on the outrageous behavior of a CIS agent and the power that DHS personnel have over the lives of immigrants:
No problems so far, the immigration agent told the American citizen and his 22-year-old Colombian wife at her green card interview in December. After he stapled one of their wedding photos to her application for legal permanent residency, he had just one more question: What was her cellphone number?
The calls from the agent started three days later. He hinted, she said, at his power to derail her life and deport her relatives, alluding to a brush she had with the law before her marriage. He summoned her to a private meeting. And at noon on Dec. 21, in a parked car on Queens Boulevard, he named his price — not realizing that she was recording everything on the cellphone in her purse.
“I want sex,” he said on the recording. “One or two times. That’s all. You get your green card. You won’t have to see me anymore.”
The 16-minute recording, which the woman first took to The New York Times and then to the Queens district attorney, suggests the vast power of low-level immigration law enforcers, and a growing desperation on the part of immigrants seeking legal status. The aftermath, which included the arrest of an immigration agent last week, underscores the difficulty and danger of making a complaint, even in the rare case when abuse of power may have been caught on tape. Click here for the story.
Sad reminder of the intersection between war and immigration. Helen O'Neill writes for the Associated Press:
A young, ambitious immigrant from Guatemala who dreamed of becoming an architect. A Nigerian medic. A soldier from China who boasted he would one day become an American general. An Indian native whose headstone displays the first Khanda, emblem of the Sikh faith, to appear in Arlington National Cemetery.
These were among more than 100 foreign-born members of the U.S. military who earned American citizenship by dying in Iraq.
Jose Gutierrez was one of the first to fall, killed by friendly fire in the dust of Umm Qasr in the opening hours of the invasion.
In death, the young Marine was showered with honors his family could only have dreamed of in life. His sister was flown in from Guatemala for his memorial service, where a Roman Catholic cardinal presided and top military officials saluted his flag-draped coffin.
And yet, his foster mother agonized as she accompanied his body back for burial in Guatemala City: Why did Jose have to die for America in order to truly belong?
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, who oversaw Gutierrez's service, put it differently.
"There is something terribly wrong with our immigration policies if it takes death on the battlefield in order to earn citizenship," Mahony wrote to President Bush in April 2003. He urged the president to grant immediate citizenship to all immigrants who sign up for military service in wartime.
"They should not have to wait until they are brought home in a casket," Mahony said. Click here for the rest of the story.
Senior Employment Policy Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Position and Background
The National Immigration Law Center is seeking a senior employment policy attorney to help advance a national agenda on immigration enforcement at the worksite that will improve the labor and due process rights of low-wage immigrant workers. This position offers a unique opportunity to work on the complex intersection of immigration and employment/labor laws, and to implement multiple strategies that help immigrant workers combat discrimination and exploitation that result from worksite enforcement actions.
Over the past 25 years, NILC has earned a national reputation as a leading expert on the complex interplay between immigrants' legal status and their rights under U.S. laws. Our policy advocacy has played a key role in protecting workers who have been detained in worksite enforcement actions resulting from immigration enforcement measures, and we have provided advocates and organizers with the necessary tools to help support immigrant workers in these situations. NILC's litigation also has resulted in significant victories, including the litigation against the Department of Homeland Security to stop the agency's proposed rule on the Social Security Administration's no-match letters. Our trainings, publications, and technical assistance reach an unusually diverse constituency of legal aid attorneys, nonprofit community, labor, and interfaith groups, government officials, and pro bono attorneys serving low-income immigrants. NILC's headquarters is in Los Angeles, and a branch office is in Washington, DC.
Lead NILC's work on immigration enforcement at the worksite;
Work with local, state, and national advocates, service providers, labor unions, and government officials to develop strategies that protect the employment rights of low-income immigrants affected by worksite enforcement actions;
Research and write fact sheets, memos, and articles for audiences of varied backgrounds;
Plan and conduct trainings and conference presentations for audiences of varied backgrounds;
Provide technical assistance on worksite enforcement issues (including ICE audits, SSA no-match letters, the IMAGE program, the E-Verify program, and worksite raids during labor disputes) to attorneys, advocates, community and union organizers, and serve as a resource to these groups and the media;
Engage in administrative advocacy to limit the detrimental impact of ICE enforcement actions on the labor rights of low-income immigrants;
Provide backup to policy staff advocating for legislative remedies for workers detained in ICE enforcement actions due to retaliation for exercising their labor rights; and
Help develop and conduct impact litigation.
Senior level attorney with at least 5-7 years of relevant legal and policy expertise in employment law and advocacy; immigration law experience also preferred;
Extensive knowledge of the issues affecting low-income immigrant workers;
Experience working with diverse constituencies (immigrant advocates, labor unions, attorneys, grassroots organizers, etc);
Experience designing and conducting trainings, and willingness to travel;
Strong litigation skills and relevant administrative advocacy experience;
Excellent research and analysis;
Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing and verbally; demonstrated ability to work with a team; self-motivated individual with demonstrated ability to take initiative and create an agenda for the work;
Experience in management and supervision of legal work;
Strong commitment to social justice issues;
Active membership in a state bar, and willingness to take the California bar if not a member.
Salary and Benefits
Excellent salary scale, DOE. Benefits include health, dental, and vision; 403(b) retirement plan after two years.
Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, three references and salary history to the National Immigration Law Center, Ref# SEPA08, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for applications for this position is March 28, 2008. No phone calls please. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have submitted all requested materials.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Read the story of Armando, a detained Honduran client of Raha Jorjani and the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, on RaceWire: The ColorLines Blog. Armando is not alone but only one of tens of thousands of immigrants in detention in the United States.
The N.Y. Times reports that Sebastian Horsley, a British author who has written a memoir detailing a life of rampant drug use and voluminous encounters with prostitutes, was turned back at Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday as he tried to enter the United States for a book party and media tour. Horsley's memoir, Dandy in the Underworld, was published last week in paperback. He said he was detained by U.S. customs authorities and questioned about his former drug addiction, use of prostitutes, and activity as a male escort.
POSTSCRIPT According to the Washington Post, the U.S. government denied Horsley entry into the United States on the grounds of moral turpitude.
Frank Sharry, a long time advocate for comprehensive immigration reform at the National Immigration Forum, has moved on to a new organization. We wish Frank all the best.
Immigration Reform Campaign Launches War Room
AMERICA’S VOICE HIRES FRANK SHARRY TO LEAD EFFORT
Washington, DC – America’s Voice, the newly-founded communications and rapid-response arm of a reinvigorated campaign to advance immigration reform, opened its doors this week. Long-time immigrant advocate Frank Sharry will serve as its Executive Director.
“I am excited about the opportunity to take the helm of America’s Voice and be part of a campaign dedicated to winning broad immigration reform in the first term of the next President,” said Mr. Sharry. “I am leaving the policy arena for the political battlefield because the road to immigration reform runs straight through the 2008 elections. Candidates will attempt to use illegal immigration as a wedge issue like never before. Immigrant voters will be a factor in deciding elections like never before. The implications for immigration reform are huge.”
America’s Voice is part of a four-pronged strategy to be mounted by immigrant advocates beginning in 2008. Overall, the campaign will combine:
Ø An unprecedented voter mobilization campaign targeting immigrant voters;
Ø Enhanced policy advocacy and research;
Ø Grassroots mobilization;
Ø A campaign-style communications and rapid-response war room.
Its goal is to build the public support and political power necessary to enact broad immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million immigrants working and living in the U.S. without proper legal status.
Added Sharry, “Too often, the conventional wisdom on immigration as a political and electoral issue is wrong. We predict that the Republican embrace of the anti-immigrant cause will turn out to be a mistake of historic proportions. And we predict that Democrats will increasingly learn how to run to the gunfire and fight for realistic solutions. We intend to do our part to make both of these predictions come true, for that is what it will take to set the stage for workable immigration reform to be enacted.”
Mr. Sharry formerly served as the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a position he held for 17 years. The Forum, based in Washington D.C., is one of the nation’s premier immigration policy organizations, and has been at the center of every major legislative and policy debate related to immigration over the past 25 years.
America’s Voice is located at 1050 17th Street, NW, #490, Washington, DC, 20036
CONTACT: Marisa McNee 917-733-2351 Rachel Hamrick 202-261-2386
Yesterday, we posted information on the death of an immigrant resulting from poor medical care in a California ICE facility. Here is information on a the death of an immigrant in a New Jersey facility that has received wide attention.
NJ Civil Rights Defense Committee is circulating this statement and seeking other groups to sign-on in support. The local newspaper near Middlesex County Correction Center, The Home News Tribune, published an article about the death, you can see at on our website at
http://www.nj-civilrights.org or at this direct link:
The petition from the detainees is attached below. Please consider signing on to this statement to help us publicize this atrocity and call for an investigation into detainee Arturo Alvarez's death.
NJ Civil Rights Defense Committee
More than ninety detainees being held at the Middlesex County Correction Center have signed a petition in protest of the recent death (March 2) of fellow-detainee Arturo Alvarez owing to medical neglect. The signers are all immigrants who are detained pending review of their deportation status.
We call for an immediate investigation into this unnecessary death and an end to the Middlesex County contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We also commend the courage of these men in bringing to light the conditions in the Middlesex detention center. The petition, which also spotlights the case of Cemar Koc, another detainee whose life is threatened by similar medical neglect, appeals to the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and decries the unconstitutional and inhumane conditions under which the petitioners are held. It calls for an end to immigration detention as a violation of both constitutional and human rights.
The petition is addressed to Michael Mukasey, Attorney General of the US, and Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security. Its often fractured and wrenchingly passionate language gives authentic witness to the brutal, ongoing disregard for humanity and human life experienced by those held in detention under contracts between ICE and County jails and other facilities in many parts of the country. It also reinforces the urgency of recent claims by the United Nations Special Human Rights Inspector, Jorge Bustamante (Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development, March 5, 2008 –English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish), that the practice of mandatory immigrant detention in the U.S. is "overused," and that it "violates the spirit of international laws and conventions and, in many cases, also violates the actual letter of those instruments" (New York Times, 3/8/2008). This U.N. report calls for an end to the mandatory detention of illegal immigrants and asks that the United States ensure an independent court review of such detentions. On an investigatory tour of American detention facilities last year, Bustamante was refused admission to Monmouth County jail, where a Russian detainee was being force-fed after threatening suicide.
The death of Arturo Alvarez, like the more than sixty other deaths in detention in the U.S. over the past five years that have never been fully explained or accounted for, is the inevitable outcome of a system that lacks adequate oversight and accountability. County detention facilities, which represent a low-investment revenue stream for county governments, could not exist without their cooperation and collaboration. A mass detainee petition decrying similar inhumane conditions at Passaic County Jail led in early 2006 to the termination of that County's contract with ICE and the release of many detainees.
We find the undiminished respect of the Middlesex petitioners for the Constitution and its guarantees an inspiration for all of us in this nation of immigrants. We deplore Governor Corzine's disregard of pleas that he direct the moral scrutiny of his office to this inhumane system, which affects New Jersey significantly more than many other states. In solidarity with the petitioners, therefore, and in admiration for the courage of their outspoken action, we join in demanding their freedom, and call on the Middlesex County Freeholders to end the cooperation with ICE that makes this reprehensible and unconstitutional detention system possible.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s leading Latino civil rights organization, unveiled a new project, “Truth in Immigration,” to rebut legal and factual inaccuracies about immigrants and Latinos in the United States. The project’s website will provide regular updates on communications about immigrants and Latinos in the media, political campaigns, and in the public messaging of anti-immigrant organizations. Truth in Immigration will examine and refute cases where the media has made false claims on immigration, including Lou Dobbs’s false claim on immigration and leprosy and Glen Beck’s false statement that undocumented immigrants have no legal rights. Anti-immigrant and anti-Latino messages have lead to increased bigotry and violence against Latinos and have been disseminated and promoted in the public sphere with very little fact checking. The FBI reports that in 2006, Hispanics comprised 62.8% of victims of crimes motivated by a bias toward the victims’ ethnicity or national origin, up 35% since 2003. During that same time frame, more than 300 anti-immigration groups formed, with half labeled as “nativist extremist.” These facts demonstrate that the impact of inaccurate and inflammatory statements in the media may have a life-threatening impact on the lives of hardworking people.
Helen O'Neill has a thoughtful piece on Academic Ink on the bittersweet grant of citiznship to U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. According to the story, more than 100 foreign-born members of the U.S. military earned American citizenship by dying in Iraq:
"Jose Gutierrez was one of the first to fall, killed by friendly fire in the dust of Umm Qasr in the opening hours of the invasion. In death, the young Marine was showered with honors his family could only have dreamed of in life. His sister was flown in from Guatemala for his memorial service, where a Roman Catholic cardinal presided and top military officials saluted his flag-draped coffin. And yet, his foster mother agonized as she accompanied his body back for burial in Guatemala City: Why did Jose have to die for America in order to truly belong? Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, who oversaw Gutierrez's service, put it differently. "There is something terribly wrong with our immigration policies if it takes death on the battlefield in order to earn citizenship," Mahony wrote to President Bush in April 2003. He urged the president to grant immediate citizenship to all immigrants who sign up for military service in wartime."
IntLawGrrl's Diane Amann highlights the Cardinal Mahony quote in this story in a "`Nuff said" feature.
For a CNN story about an immigrant soldier, click here.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (born May 7, 1927) is a prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, made up of director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant. Their films have won six Academy Awards.
Ruth Prawer was born in Cologne, Germany and her family fled the Nazis in 1939. During World War II, she lived in London and experienced the Blitz. She became a British citizen in 1948.
Prawer received her MA in English literature from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1951. She married Cyrus H. Jhabvala, an architect, in 1951 amd moved to New Delhi, India.
In 1975, Ruthe Prawer Jhabvala moved to New York and began to divide her time between India and the United States. In 1986, she became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
While living in India during the 1950s, Jhabvala began to write novels about her life there: To Whom She Will (1955), Nature of Passion (1956), Esmond in India (1957), The Householder (1960) and Get Ready for the Battle (1962). Many of her short stories appeared first in the New Yorker. In 1975, she won the Booker Prize, the most prestigious literary award for the English language in the Commonwealth, for her novel Heat and Dust.
In 1963, Jhabvala was approached by filmmakers James Ivory and Ismail Merchant to write a screenplay of her 1960 novel The Householder. The film, The Householder, was released by Merchant Ivory Productions in 1963 — this began a partnership that would produce over 20 films. The next Merchant-Ivory project Shakespeare Wallah (1965), was a critical success, and it was followed by a number of other collaborations between the three, including an adaptation of Jhabvala's novel Heat and Dust, (1983); A Room with a View (1985), for which she won her first Oscar; Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990); Howards End (1992), her second Oscar win; and The Remains of the Day (1993), for which she was nominated for a third Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Jhabvala's latest screenplay is The City of Your Final Destination (2008), based on the novel of the same name by Peter Cameron.
In 1984, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was honored with a MacArthur Foundation Award.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
From the Arizona Republic:
"When some local law-enforcement agencies became more involved in arresting illegal immigrants, victim advocates worried that the crackdowns would erode trust with immigrants.
Now, a year later, they say their fears are coming true, as undocumented residents avoid reporting crimes to police out of fear they could be deported.
Though no hard data exists - it's impossible for police to quantify the calls they aren't getting - victim advocates, immigrant activists, pastors and community leaders say they have seen an uptick in calls from undocumented residents seeking help."
New Facts on New Bedford Raid: "Infuriated" Boston Financier Bailed Immigrants Out -- Reason: DHS Conduct was "Extremely Un-American"
We have blogged previously about a 2007 immigration raid in a factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The raid resulted in children at school coming home to homes to which immigrant parents did not return. The federal government also transferred many of the immigrants arrested out of the jurisdiction. Now, the Wall Street Journal has uncovered some fascinating new facts wbout the case:
"One frigid March morning last year, federal agents raided a factory in this old whaling town, arresting hundreds of illegal immigrants as they sewed vests and backpacks for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most were shackled and sent to a detention center in Texas, where they faced rapid deportation unless they could post thousands of dollars in bail -- money they didn't have -- to buy time to mount a defense. Then, a mystery benefactor appeared. The anonymous donor ponied up more than $200,000 to spring 40 people from detention.
The payments, which until now haven't become public despite extensive news coverage of the raid itself, came from Bob Hildreth, a Boston financier who made his millions trading Latin American debt. He was "infuriated" at the televised images of workers being shipped to Texas, he says. Helping them make bail is "payback."
The raid broke families apart," says the diminutive 57-year-old, who once taught high-school history. "This was extremely un-American." " (emphasis added).
It is nice to know that at at least one American would do what was right.
Ezra Rosser, Remittances, Connecticut Law Review (forthcoming 2008). (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1107485) 41
Abstract: Remittances, the sending of money from immigrants back to their home countries, are the newest anti-poverty, development activity of the poor to be applauded by international institutions and economists. Exceeding foreign aid and private investment to many developing countries, remittances are being hailed as a new, untapped resource with powerful poverty alleviation and potentially development attributes. After presenting the poverty, developmental, and economic characteristics of this new transnational connection between immigrants and their loved ones, as well as the dangerous effects of excessive remittance regulation, this paper argues that remittances should be understood as an anti-poverty tool, but not as a route to development. Hope all is well and I loved that you posted the Obama speech, it inspired me to watch it on youtube!
Johnson, Kevin R. The Devastating Impact of the Initiative Process on Latino and Immigrant Communities, California Law Review (forthcoming 2008) (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1103607).
Abstract: This article is forthcoming in a symposium issue of the California Law Review. Although popular in many states, direct democracy remains alive and well. Recent years have seen a fascinating twist in the deployment of initiatives. In pursuit of a conservative political agenda, activists have begun to employ initiatives as a last resort to head off civil rights gains of racial and other minorities. Showcase examples include the rejection of affirmative action by the voters of California and Michigan through initiatives after courts declined to bury race-conscious admissions in higher education. Similarly, in response to governmental policies believed by many voters to be too liberal, immigrants - disproportionately Latina/o in modern time - also have suffered initiative setbacks with reduced access to public benefits and services, English-only laws, and the elimination of bilingual education in the public schools. This article focuses on the devastating impacts of lawmaking by initiative on Latina/os and immigrants. The question is whether there is anything to be done to help ensure fundamentally fair treatment of political minorities, especially discrete and insular minorities who may be discriminated against and punished with impunity by the majority in the electoral process. Latina/os are minorities who often have suffered the disfavor of the majority in the political process. Their lack of political power as a minority is exacerbated by the fact that a significant portion of the community is composed of noncitizens, who lack the right to vote. Immigrants themselves historically have been nothing less than sitting ducks for fear and loathing, which has repeatedly resulted in their harsh treatment in U.S. history. Part I of the article outlines the special political process defects that severely handicap Latina/os and immigrants in the United States. Part II offers concrete illustrations of the operation of the process defects. The article demonstrates that the political difficulties facing Latina/os and immigrants, many of whom are barred from voting and thus experience the diminution of their raw political power, are greater in direct democracy than those facing racial and other minority groups that lack a significant noncitizen component. To ameliorate the political process defects diluting the electoral power of people of color and immigrants, Part III advocates more scrutinizing - and less deferential - judicial review of initiatives that implicate the rights of Latina/os, as well as other racial minorities, and immigrants.
An alien held in ICE detention had cancer. But he got proper treatment and was never properly diagnosed and died. Federal Judge Dean Pregerson has written a scathing decision critical of the agency.
Scott Michels reports for ABC News:
For nearly 11 months, Francisco Castaneda asked officials at the immigration detention center where he was being held to treat a lesion he worried might be cancerous.
Though several doctors repeatedly said Castaneda urgently needed a biopsy, government officials allegedly refused to authorize one, calling it an "elective" procedure, according to court records treatment that a federal judge in Los Angeles has said appears to be "beyond cruel and unusual."
Castaneda died last month, after penile cancer spread to his lymph nodes. While in immigration custody, instead of a biopsy, he was allegedly treated with ibuprofen, antihistamines and extra boxer shorts when his lesion began to bleed on his clothes, according to government records cited in a recent court decision that allowed Castaneda's family to sue the government.
"Everyone knows that cancer is often deadly. Everyone knows that early diagnosis and treatment often saves lives," Judge Dean Pregerson wrote. "Defendants' own records bespeak of conduct that transcends negligence by miles. It bespeaks of conduct that, if true, should be taught to every law student as conduct for which the moniker 'cruel' is inadequate." Click here for the full story.
The number of undocumented immigrants deported is on the rise. ICE reports that it deported 280,000 people during the most recent fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That is a 44 percent jump from the previous fiscal years when 195,000 undocumented immigrants were deported.
ICE has arrested more than 600 undocumented immigrants in the Phoenix area this month, including raids on drop houses where smugglers keep many of those unlawfully entering the country from Mexico.