Saturday, May 17, 2008

DHS Statistics

Regularly check the DHS statistical website for the department's most recent publications on immigration, demographic, and enforcement information.


May 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lawsuit Over Border Fence

Construction of the border fence is facing more litigation. Suzanne Gamboa reports for the Associated Press:

Texas mayors and business leaders filed a class-action lawsuit Friday alleging Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff hoodwinked landowners into waiving their property rights for construction of a fence along the Mexican border.

Members of the Texas Border Coalition said Chertoff did not fairly negotiate compensation with landowners for access to their land for six-month surveys to choose fence sites. The coalition of mayors and business and community leaders is seeking an injunction to block work on the fence.

They also want a federal judge to rescind all the agreements with landowners and to order Chertoff to start again. The department has sought and won access from hundreds of landowners to determine where to build the fence and other barriers to illegal border crossings.

The coalition's attorney, Peter Schey, said Chertoff violated a 1996 immigration law that requires fair negotiation with landowners. Click here for the rest of the story.


May 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Razor Wire Added to Border Fence Near San Diego

The L.A. Times reports that the U.S. Border Patrol is installing razor-sharp concertina wire atop border fencing between San Diego and Tijuana. The triple-strand wire will stretch five miles when completed this summer -- the longest expanse of this type of wire ever used on the Southwest border. Federal authorities in the past have avoided using fortifications with such negative symbolism. Hundreds of miles of barriers going up in other areas have had to meet "aesthetically pleasing" federal design standards.


May 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Resources on State and Local Immigration Laws

Following the failure of comprehensive immigration reform, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of anti-immigrant local ordinances and state laws proposed and enacted.

Here are resources on anti-immigrant local ordinances and state laws available through the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) and partner organizations. On Immigration Advocates Network:

The podcast, "Anti-Immigrant Local Ordinances and State Laws: Creating Tension Among Neighbors and Usurping the Role of the Federal Government" by Lucas Guttentag, Jennifer Chang and Omar Jadwat of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, is available in the "Podcast" section of the website at (login required)

The "Raids and Immigration Enforcement Library" contains: -A financial analysis of local ordinances at

-Sample of a positive ordinance to address racial profiling at (login required)

Other Materials on Anti-Immigrant Local Ordinances and State Laws:

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project's website includes complaints filed in California, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas at

American Immigration Lawyers Foundation provides reports and newsletters on local ordinances and challenges to them at and at

Catholic Legal Immigration Network's website includes a summary of various anti-immigrant state and local measures at

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service's website contains a summary of the types of local ordinances at

National Immigration Law Center offers documents on local ordinances and state laws at and at and at


May 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

ICE Sued Over Postville Raid

A lawsuit has already been filed against ICE for its raid in Postville, Iowa earlier this week. Amy Lorentzen reports for the Associated Press

Attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit requesting class-action status on behalf of an unspecified number of immigrant workers arrested this week during a raid at a meatpacking plant in Postville.

The lawsuit names the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division and several government officials including Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. It was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an estimated 147 detained immigrant workers and names three of the petitioners: Antonin Trinidad Candido, Roman Trinidad Candido and Maria del Refugio Masias.

The U.S. attorney's office said Monday's raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. meatpacking plant was the largest single Immigration raid in U.S. history, resulting in nearly 400 arrests. A spokesman for the office said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit alleges that government agencies and officials violated the immigrant workers' constitutional rights. Those rights include the right to due process, which includes protections from arbitrary prolonged and indefinite detention. The suit also states that their rights to consult with counsel have been violated, among other claims. Click here for the rest of the story.


May 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Is Sheriff Arpaio Out?

The Associated Press reports:

Gov. Janet Napolitano ordered the state to end an anti-illegal immigration contract with a high-profile sheriff Tuesday so she can pay for a larger effort to track down thousands of felons around Arizona.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday criticized the governor's decision as a maneuver to thwart his efforts against illegal immigrants.
''Dirty politics are at work right now,'' Arpaio said at a news conference.


May 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gearing up for the Next Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico

The Rio Grande Guardian reports that if a hurricane hits the Rio Grande Valley this season, residents evacuated via school buses will be prescreened for citizenship. Hurricane season starts June 1. In the event of a hurricane in the region, emergency officials predict more than 130,000 evacuees will leave the Valley by school bus. They will be checked for identification and citizenship before they can board. Anyone who is not a citizen or is not a legal resident will be held in specially designed areas in the Valley that are “made to withstand hurricanes,” said Dan Doty, a Border Patrol spokesperson for the Valley sector.

Checking papers in teh face of a hurricane?  What the heck?  Why not just strive to evacuate everyone ASAP, which seems like the humanitrian thing to do?  I previously have written about how this nation failed immigrants (as well as many others) in the wake of Hurrican Katrina.  It seems to me that we are headed toward another mishandling of a mass disaster -- and immigrants will suffer. 


Thanks to Dan Kowalski for this story (and many more).

May 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Border Fence Class Action

The Texas Border Coalition is filing a class action lawsuit against the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. today. TBC announced its intention to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection over the construction of $50 billion U.S.-Mexico border wall at a special meeting at the McAllen Convention Center on April 15.

The lawsuit asserts that DHS and CBP have violated:

* Border landowners' statutory right to negotiation over a "reasonable" price prior to the taking of property for the purpose of constructing segments of fence along the 1,200-mile stretch of Texas-Mexico border.

* The due process rights of property owners by failing to issue and make public any rules, regulations, or directives on how negotiations should take place or how the government will determine a "reasonable" price for the property it wishes to seize.

* The equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment by giving certain politically well-connected property owners a pass on having the border fence built on their property.

* The 2008 DHS Appropriation law and the due process rights of property owners by failing to issue and make public any rules, regulations, or directives on how required "consultation" with property owners will take place and how the concerns of property owners will be considered.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the Secretary of Homeland Security has unlawfully failed to exercise his discretion as required by the 2008 DHS Appropriation Act to select the most practical and effective locations to build the border wall, rather than the locations set in the now-repealed provisions of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.


May 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Fernando Álvaro Lamas (Argentina)

Llamas Fernando Álvaro Lamas (b. 1915, Buenos Aires, Argentina–d. 1982) was an actor and director. Lamas was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1942, he was an established movie star in Argentina. In 1951, he signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and went to the United States to play "Latin Lover" roles.

Lamas directed for the first time in 1963. It was a Spanish movie titled Magic Fountain. He was most active directing on television, doing episodes that included Mannix, The Violent Ones, Alias Smith and Jones, Starsky and Hutch and Falcon Crest.

Lamas lived on in popular culture via the "Fernando" character developed by Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s.

Fernando Lamas died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, California at the age of 67.

A nice Llamas quote:  "When a person has an accent, it means he can speak one more language than you" — when Johnny Carson teased him about his accent during an appearance on The Tonight Show.


May 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cal Supreme Court: Fundamental Right to Same-Sex Marriage

A divided 4-3 California Supreme Court ruled today that there is a fundamental constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and that creating civil unions as an alternative for same-sex couples amounted to a violation of the state equal protection clause. (Full text of decision available here.)

California is the first court since Massachusetts in 2003 to rule that marriage laws constitute unconstitutional discrimination. While other courts have rejected that argument, I look forward to the day when same-sex marriages are recognized nationwide and ultimately for immigration purposes.


May 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

E-Verify and Arizona

From the Immigration Policy Center:

E-Verify and Arizona: A Rough Road Ahead for Employers, Employees, and the Economy
Immigration OnPoint: Facts at Your Fingertips for Frequently Asked Immigration Questions
On January 1, 2008 the Legal Arizona Workers Act went into effect, which requires all employers in the state to enroll in and use the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.  While not yet fully implemented in Arizona, E-Verify is already showing significant signs of trouble - including its negative impact on Arizona workers and employers, as well as the state's economy.  This week, Immigration OnPoint highlights Arizona's experience with E-Verify and suggests Congress should heed the warning signals as they contemplate a national EEVS.

E-Verify and Arizona: Early Experiences for Employers, Employees, and the Economy Portend a Rough Road Ahead (Immigration Policy Center - May 2008) - This fact sheet covers the experiences of Arizona's employers and employees with E-Verify, and early signals of its impact on the state's economy


May 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

San Diego Bakery Raid

According to the Associated Press, ICE conducted a raid on a French Bakery in San Diego yesterday:

Federal immigration officials have detained about a dozen people at a French bakery and catering company in San Diego.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack says agents executed a criminal search warrant Thursday morning at the French Gourmet, a local institution in a Pacific Beach neighborhood known for its wedding cakes.

Workers in chef's whites and floppy toques were searched in a delivery area behind the restaurant before being taken to a different location for questioning.

Mack says she does not know the nationalities of those detained and declined further comment because the investigation is ongoing. Click here for the rest of the story.


May 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Max Reinhardt (Austria-Hungary)

Max_reinhardt Max Reinhardt (1873-1943) was an influential theatre and film director and actor. He was born Maximilian Goldmann in Baden bei Wien, Austria-Hungary. From 1902 until the beginning of Nazi rule in 1933, he worked as a director at various theaters in Berlin. From 1905 to 1930, he managed the Deutsches Theater ("German Theatre") in Berlin and, in addition, the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna from 1924 to 1933.

By employing powerful staging techniques, and harmonising stage design, language, music and choreography, Reinhardt introduced new dimensions into German theatre. The Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna, which is arguably the most important German-language acting school, was installed implementing his ideas.

Siegfried Jacobsen wrote Max Reinhardt in 1910. In 1920, Reinhardt established the Salzburg Festival with Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. He directed an annual production of the morality play Everyman about God. In 1938, he immigrated first to England, then to the United States, where he had already successfully directed his own play The Miracle in 1924, and a popular stage version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1927.

Reinhardt also opened the Reinhardt School of the Theatre on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood Several notable stars of the day received classical theater training, including Nanette Fabray. Reinhardt followed that success by directing a film version of Everyman About God in 1935 with a different cast, including James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown and Olivia de Havilland. The Nazis banned the film because of the Jewish ancestry of both Reinhardt and Felix Mendelssohn, whose music (arranged by Erich Korngold) was used throughout the film.

In 1940, Max Reinhardt became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He died in New York City in 1943. His son Gottfried Reinhardt was a well-regarded film producer. His grandson, Stephen Reinhardt, once a labor lawyer and nows one of the more liberal judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


May 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More on the Senseless Tragedy in LA

We previously have blogged about the tragic killing in April of an African American teen by an allegedly undocumented gang member in Los Angeles.  The death has led to public debate over the possible repeal of LAPD Special Order 40, which limits police from inquiring about immigration status of witnesses and crime victims in criminal investigations.  It was not really at issue in the April killing but some still have vociferiously demanded Special Order 40's repeal.

The N.Y. Times has picked up on the story and offered some interesting insights:

"[I]n the context of contemporary immigration politics, [Special Order 40] is now perceived in black neighborhoods and beyond as a roadblock to using immigration laws as a tool against Latino gang violence. A push to reverse the procedure, . . . viewed by many as a symbol of deeper racial conflicts in South Los Angeles, has inflamed tensions between many blacks and Hispanic immigrants, groups long resentful of each other as shifting demographics and a smattering of racially motivated killings have racked South Los Angeles.

“I think you can assume the resentments are pretty widespread,” said Connie Rice, a civil rights activist and lawyer. “There has been a huge turnover in a 20-year period, and so the tensions get expressed in a lot of other ways. The African-American community is feeling under siege, and it is always easier to strike out at the ‘other.’ “


May 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Immigration Articles

Carrubba, Jared. Note. A Catch-22 for the twenty-first century. (Banda- Ortiz v. Gonzales, 445 F.3d 387, 2006.) 27 Miss. C.L. Rev. 265-288 (2007- 2008).

Pham, Huyen. The private enforcement of immigration laws. 96 Geo. L.J. 777-826 (2008).

Schrock, Hannah Whitney McMurry. Note. An emerging civil rights movement: immigrant populations in need of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. 34 N. Ky. L. Rev. 749-773 (2007).

Allen Chair Symposium 2008. Immigration in the Twenty-First Century: Perspectives on Law and Policy. Preface by Justin W. Curtis, Allen Chair Editor; articles by Rep. Virgil H. Goode, Jr., Jorge A. Vargas and Leticia M. Saucedo; commentaries by John C. Eastmen and James C. Ho; comments by Jonathan G. Goodrich and Lindsay M. Pickral. 42 U. Rich. L. Rev. 831-1040 (2008).


May 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kevin Johnson is New Dean at UC Davis

Some of you have already heard the rumors, and today the UC Davis Chancellor made the official announcement: my co-blogger Kevin Johnson will be the new dean at UC Davis School of Law. I am so proud of Kevin. He has been an incredible colleague, and I know he will be a magnificent dean.

Here's the official announcement:

University of California, Davis
May 14, 2008


Kevin R. Johnson, associate dean for academic affairs and a noted international expert on immigration, race, and civil rights law, was confirmed today as dean of the UC Davis School of Law by the UC Board of Regents.

Johnson, 49, will be the first Latino to lead a law school in the University of California system. He will assume his new responsibilities at King Hall on July 1, replacing Rex Perschbacher, who has led the school since 1999 and will return to the faculty.

"Kevin's academic credibility is the essence of his popularity among our faculty and students, but those of us who know him well recognize much more," said Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "Most notably, he cares deeply about those who need, but have no access to, legal assistance. He pays special attention to the first-hand experience our students receive in their free clinics."

Vanderhoef added, "The law school is certain to flourish under Kevin's guiding hand."

Established in 1965, the UC Davis School of Law currently enrolls approximately 600 students, has 36 faculty members and more than 6,000 alumni. The school, housed in Martin Luther King Jr. Hall, is noted for its emphasis on social justice and human rights, environmental and natural resources law, international law, intellectual property, and business law.

It maintains one of the highest bar-passage rates in the state.

"UC Davis School of Law has an excellent faculty, staff, and student body. Dean Perschbacher has done a truly outstanding job in overseeing an intellectual renaissance at the law school, hiring an extraordinary group of the most diverse faculty in the United States," Johnson said.

My modest hope is to build on his achievements while maintaining the King Hall community that we all know and love," Johnson added. "Specifically, we must do all within our power to remain a top public law school in times of tight budgets and increasing fees.

I am committed to doing what it takes to keep the best and brightest faculty and students from a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. In my mind, this is what a public law school should strive for."

Johnson, who also is the Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named associate dean for academic affairs in 1998. He has taught a wide array of classes, including civil procedure, immigration law, refugee law, and critical race theory. In 1993, Johnson was honored with the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Johnson currently serves as president of the board of directors of Legal Services of Northern California, the largest legal services provider in Northern California. He also is on the board of directors of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the nation's leading Latino civil rights organization. He is serving on the Immigration Policy Group of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

Along with Professor Bill Hing, Johnson co-manages the ImmigrationProf blog, which analyzes issues of immigration law and policy. With more than 300,000 visits, it is among the most popular legal blogs at <>.

Johnson's book How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man's Search for Identity, was published in 1999 and was nominated for the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

He also has published Race, Civil Rights, and American Law: A Multiracial Approach and Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader and The "Huddled Masses" Myth Immigration and Civil Rights (2004). Johnson's latest book, Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Laws, was published by NYU Press in 2007. He is co-author of two amicus curiae briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in immigration cases.

A 1983 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review, Johnson earned his undergraduate degree in economics from UC Berkeley. After graduation from law school, he clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and worked as an attorney with the international law firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe in San Francisco.

Johnson has held leadership positions in the Association of American Law Schools. He also has been honored with many awards, including the 2008 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholar of the Year and the 2006 Professor of the Year from the Hispanic National Bar Association.

In 2003, Johnson was elected to the American Law Institute.


May 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Blog Discussion of Peter Spiro Book

Peterspiro_booksmall Spiro_webphoto Next week, Opinio Juris is hosting a discussion of Peter Spiro's new book Beyond Citizenship: American Identity After Globalization (Oxford University Press). Among others, Alex Aleinikoff (Georgetown), Cristina Rodriguez (NYU), and Jon Weinberg (Wayne St.) are participating.


May 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Educator's View on Postville ICE Raid

Earlier this week, we reported on the ICE raid in Postville, Iowa. Mary Ann Zehr of Education Week has sent this:

The Des Moines Register broke a story yesterday about how, prior to a raid by federal immigration authorities on a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, on Monday, the Postville Community School District was given a subpoena to turn over detailed information about students to the Iowa Division of Labor Services. The subpoena included a mandate to provide the names of students working at two apartment buildings that had been owned by a Postville school guidance counselor and sold to the CEO of Agriprocessors Inc., the same company that owns the plant that was raided this week.

I was curious if there was a connection between the subpoena and the immigration raid. In other words, did any information provided by school district officials, when they complied with the subpoena, get into the hands of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents? And is this another incident where educators have been dragged into an area of federal law that is murky? What steps should school officials take in such situations to ensure that undocumented students get the free public education in this country guaranteed by the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe? (I've written about this issue in a Sept. 12, 2007, article for Education Week, "With Immigrants, Districts Balance Safety, Legalities.")

I followed up with my own interviews of Gail Sheridan-Lucht, an attorney for Iowa Labor Commissioner David Neil, and David Strudthoff, the superintendent of the Postville school system, to write a story about the immigration raid and the subpoena, which you can find here.

Ms. Sheridan-Lucht said she issued the subpoena to the school district as part of a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Iowa Division of Labor Services into various labor practices of the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville. The investigation included the possible violation of state and federal child labor laws, Ms. Sheridan-Lucht said. (In fact, 12 minors were arrested at the plant during Monday's raid, according to federal officials.)

Mr. Strudthoff said he wasn't told about the impending immigration raid at the time that he was handed the subpoena in early April—and he doesn't know if information about Postville students, such as addresses and telephone numbers, was turned over to federal immigration authorities. Ms. Sheridan-Lucht said she couldn't comment on the issue because the labor investigation was still going on. Click here for the rest of the piece.


May 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Rena Inoue (Japan)

Rena_inoue Rena Inoue (born October 17, 1976 in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan) is a figure skater. With partner John Baldwin, she is the 2004 and 2006 U.S. National Champion.  Inoue previously competed for Japan as both a single skater and pair skater.

Inoue originally competed as a single and pair skater for Japan. She competed for Japan as a pair skater with Tomoaki Koyama at the 1992 Olympics and as a single skater at the 1994 Olympics. Inoue was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998. However, it was detected early, and after six months of chemotherapy, she was cancer-free.

In 2000, Inoue teamed up with John Baldwin. She became a U.S. citizen in 2005.

At the 2006 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Inoue and Baldwin became the first pair to successfully perform a throw triple Axel in competition, and then made Olympic history by landing it again at the 2006 Winter Games.

Taking their bows after their Free Skate at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Baldwin proposed marriage to Rena on the ice and she accepted.


May 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Efforts to Crack Down on "Voter Fraud," i.e., Latino Voters

The N.Y. Times talks tough on efforts of various states to tighten up on voter fraud:

"Missouri and at least 19 other states are considering passing laws that would force people to prove their citizenship before they can vote. These bills are not a sincere effort to prevent noncitizens from voting; that is a made-up problem. The real aim is to reduce turnout by eligible voters. Republicans seem to think that laws of this kind will help them win elections, but burdensome rules like these — and others cropping up around the country — pose a serious threat to democracy and should be stopped."

"Driving while brown (or black)" has been a punishable offense for many years.  Now, it appears that some states want to make it a crime for  "voting while Mexican."  In LULAC v. Perry, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state of texas's redistricting scheme that discriminated against Hispanic voters.   It looks like Mizzou and some other states are looking for a Plan B.


May 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)