August 30, 2008
Osuna Named BIA Chair
Juan P. Osuna (official bio) has been named chair of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Osuna, 45, was appointed to the board in 2000 and became acting chair in August 2006. He is the first Latino to head the board. From June 1, 2005, to October 2, 2006, he served as Acting Vice-Chairman.
Osuna received B.A. degree in 1985 from George Washington University, J.D. in 1988 from the Washington College of Law at American University, and a master of arts degree in law and international affairs in 1989 from American University’s School of International Service. From April 1990 to December 1999, Osuna served at West Group as senior principal attorney editor, managing editor, associate editor, and assistant editor. From 1997 to August 2000, Osuna also served as a consultant for Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., in Washington, DC, where he edited a number of publications. Previously, he taught law at the Federal Judicial Center's Division of Court Education, in Washington, DC, and at American University, where he was an adjunct professor in the University's Washington Semester Program. Osuna is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.
A SYSTEM AT ITS BREAKING POINT
"Reform and adequate resources are the only approaches that will meet the twin essentials of due process and judicial economy. This is the only solution that will provide a `win-win' outcome for the public we serve," writes Dana Leigh Marks, President of the National Association of Immigration Judges and immigration judge sibce 1987, L.A. Daily Journal, Aug. 29, 2008.
Perhaps the next President will listen.
One Long Branch Ordinance Down, One More To Go
Farmers Branch leaders are persistent. Anabelle Garay writes for the Associated Press:
A federal judge issued a final judgment on Thursday permanently preventing a Dallas suburb from enforcing a rule banning apartment rentals to illegal immigrants.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay could conclude a nearly two-year court battle over a never-enforced ordinance that would have required landlords to verify tenants' legal status.
The judgment also triggers a countdown to another immigration-related rule by Farmers Branch officials. City officials approved the new rule to take effect 15 days after a final judgment on the ordinance that was being litigated. It would require prospective tenants to get a rental license from the city. Farmers Branch would ask the federal government for the applicant's legal status before approving the rental license.
Opponents of the previous ordinance — which included apartment complex operators, residents and advocates — plan to challenge the new rule. Click here for the rest of the story.
Changes in Tucson Police Policy Toward Undocumented Immigrants
Since November 2007, Border Action, No More Deaths and Casa Maria have been working to change the Tucson Police Department's policy regarding undocumented immigrants. At a recent City Council subcommittee meeting, Police Chief Miller unveiled the draft policy to council members. While there are still two provisions in the policy that we are committed to eliminating, the policy has some notable improvements including prohibiting officers from asking people's immigration /citizenship status during traffic stops. Here is an editorial from the Arizona Daily Star regarding the policy. Congratulations to the advocates who have been working on this policy change.
August 29, 2008
The New "Sundown" Towns: Prince William County, Virginia and Escondido, California
In July, I wrote a blog entry entitled The Modern Sundown Towns. The discussion below is a lengthier exploration of the issue that is part of a draft article (with footnotes) tentatively entitled "The Intersection of Race and Class in U.S. Immigration Law and Enforcement," which will be submitted for inclusion in a symposium on race and class in Duke Law School's Law & Contemporary Problems.
The conventional wisdom has been that federal power over immigration is exclusive, with little room for state and local immigration regulation. Nonetheless, a number of state and local governments frustrated with the failure of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform in recent years have adopted measures that purport to address undocumented
immigration and immigrants. Race and class unquestionably have influenced the passage of these measures.
A number of local governments have unsuccessfully attempted to address the efforts of day laborers – relatively unskilled workers, many of whom are undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America – to secure work. "Day laborers are short-term workers that assemble in areas where they are likely to be visible to potential employers. Day laborers typically assemble in areas such as sidewalks, parking lots, and around construction supply stores."
Prince William County, Virginia responded to an increase of Latina/o immigrants settling in the community by adopting a measure that required police officers to check the immigration status of anyone who is accused of breaking the law, whether for speeding or shoplifting, if they believe that person is in the country unlawfully, and also to cut off certain county services and benefits. As a result, Latina/o immigrants and citizens reportedly have moved out of Prince William County, to the dismay of some businesses and the approval of some white residents. Supporters of the local immigration measures claim that the laws will promote "self-deportation" of undocumented immigrants and thus foster adherence to the federal immigration laws. But the Latinos moving out of Prince William County appear to be moving to neighboring localities and states rather than self-deporting to their native countries.
Similarly, the city of Escondido, California, with a Spanish name not far from the U.S./Mexico border, is another local government that has sought to deter Latina/o immigrants from remaining in its jurisdiction. In the last few years, Escondido has tried to rid itself of undocumented immigrants through a number of means including passing an ordinance (later rescinded after a legal challenge) barring landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants, immigration sweeps, and aggressive enforcement of city codes and other policies. The department’s most controversial move was checkpoints targeting unlicensed drivers. In 2007, "the department set up 18 license checkpoints, which resulted in 293 impounded cars, 14 arrests and 296 citations.." Escondido currently is attacking undocumented immigration indirectly by, among other things, citing residents for code violations such as garage conversions, graffiti, and junk cars. City officials considered a policy restricting drivers from picking up day laborers. Escondido’s approach has been described as the method of "attrition: making life as difficult as possible for undocumented immigrants in the hope that they'll self-deport back home," which seems unlikely given that residence is possible in other jurisdictions. A retired sheriff maintained, however, that Escondido is "`looking for a way to reduce the number of brown people.’"
The end result of local immigration measures like those in Prince William County and Escondido may well be variants of the old "sundown town," communities in the United States that emerged in the North after the Civil War, when many freed slaves left the South, in which African Americans were systematically excluded from town after sunset. This allowed workers of color to provide labor needed in town but without the perceived burden on townspeople of having them be neighbors. Ordinances that bar landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants, including ones adopted by Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Valley Park, Missouri, and Farmer’s Branch, Texas, have been called the new Jim Crow. These ordinances may result in discrimination against national origin minorities (including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents).
There is little indication that the labor provided by immigrants will not be utilized to maintain the homes and yards of city residents as well as in restaurants, hotels, construction, and service industries. The elimination of day laborer pick ups would likely drive the employment of these workers further underground but would not likely eliminate this informal labor market. The new sundown town, it appears, thus will have Latina/o immigrant workers by day but will be white-dominated at night.
Reps Divided on Immigration
Congressional Quarterly Today makes it sound like the Republicans are having a very hard time coming up with an immigration plank to their platform.
Rep VP Nominee on Immigration
OntheIssues reports this about Palin on immigration: "No issue stance yet recorded by OnTheIssues.org." One news report concludes that Palin has conservative credentials but has said little on iImmigration: "Being that her state only borders Canada and is thousands of miles from the Mexican border, Palin has not often expressed her views publicly on illegal immigration."
Who wants to bet that Palin will veer enforcement-only very soon?
More generally, the ever-interesting Wonkette has the scoop about Sarah Palin's latest political controversy.
This is Un-American! Border Controls Might Delay Football Fans
U.S. Customs and Border Protection warned football fans "to prepare for a potential increase in cross border travel in conjunction with the Buffalo Bills pre-season football game against the Detroit Lions on Thursday, August 28. It is expected that some of those attending the game will travel directly from Canada and others from Detroit to Buffalo through Canada. . . . Travelers should check traffic conditions at the four border crossings within the Buffalo/Niagara region and select the crossing that is least congested."
Detroit beat Buffalo 14-6. ESPN described the game as "a glorified scrimmage even by NFL exhibition standards." Hope nobody got stuck in traffic.
Obama Speech (Briefly) Touches on Immigration
"You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. But this, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort."
Any thoughts from our readers?
August 28, 2008
immigration Factoids About U.S. Presidents
"Only one president was the son of two immigrant parents: Andrew Jackson. Five presidents ([Thomas] Jefferson, James Buchanan, Chester Arthur, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover) had just one immigrant parent each." http://www.wikinfo.org/index.php/President_of_the_United_States_of_America
As you know, I tend to be favorably disposed toward immigrants but, with the possible exception of Jefferson, I must concede that I am not really all that impressed with the president/children of immigrants.
And we, of course, are well aware that John McCain may be an immigrant. :)
Let Them In!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Cato Institute has produced a short clip from a recent speech by Jason Riley, Author of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders. Riley argues that the case against illegal immigration is based on false conventional wisdom and that proponents of free markets should embrace open immigration, not shun it.
Will Immigration be a Big Issue for Obama and McCain?
Will immigration be a major issue in the upcoming Obama-McCain contest? Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News writes that many observers think not:
Mindful of Hispanics' growing clout, Barack Obama has vowed to push for comprehensive immigration reform as president.
But energy, the economy and Iraq get top billing at the Democratic National Convention. Immigration won't get prime-time airplay – and that's fine with many advocates.
"There's going to be a lot of meat cleavers that McCain can use on Obama," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., who represents 300 miles of border. "He can drag that bloody rag of immigration around if he wants to. But we're not going to hand him the rag."
Just as Sen. John McCain placated the GOP's right wing by promising to control the border before pushing a guest worker program he has long supported, Mr. Obama would alienate swing voters by coming off as too enthusiastic about amnesty for undocumented workers. Click here for the full story.
Should We Be Worried about the Impact of the Raids on Employers?
Raids, raids raids! We have been writing about raids at workplaces across the United States for many months -- Massachusetts, North Carolina, Iowa, and, last Friday, Mississippi. Undocumented employees have been the promary targets but buisiness feel like they are in a bind: "Major U.S. employers assailed the expanding crackdown, saying it creates a Catch-22. If businesses fail to enroll in E-Verify, they run the risk of a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said. But if they sign up, they face added costs, labor disruptions and discrimination complaints -- as well as the risk that flaws in the program won't stop all illegal hiring or prevent government raids, they said." Click here for the Washington Post story offering the employer perspective.
Tacos Are Victorious!
We have reportedly previously on the LA taco truck controversy. The Los Angeles Times reports that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge invalidated a controversial ordinance passed in April by county supervisors that made it a misdemeanor in unincorporated parts of the county to park a taco truck in one spot for more than an hour. The ordinance, Judge Dennis A. Aichroth ruled, was unconstitutionally vague in its description of how quickly a vendor could return to an area where the truck was previously parked. Aichroth said it also violated the vehicle code because county supervisors had not properly established that it was written in the interest of public safety.
A spokeswoman for Supervisor Gloria Molina, the ordinance's author, said the fight was not over. "We knew from the start," spokeswoman Roxanne Marquez said, "that this case would go to court. We will appeal and we expect to win." Marquez rejected claims that the ordinance targeted small vendors in favor of bigger businesses and developers who make larger political donations. "We are coming down on the side of our residents who deserve a good quality of life," she said.
The law was passed unanimously by supervisors after restaurateurs complained that taco trucks parking on the streets near their businesses were drawing away customers. The LA taco truck ordinance sparked an outcry, which included an internet petition that collected more than thousands of signatures. www.saveourtacotrucks.org.
Yesterday, we commented on the possibility that the new LPGA English only rule might be a way of discriminating by proxy against Korean golfers. One might think that a taco truck ban might be a way of targeting persons of Mexican ancestry. In the taco truck case, however, it appears that persons of Mexican ancestry (Mexican restaurant owners) support an ordinance that might injure small business owners of Mexican ancestry. Add politics to the mix and we have a very complex taco!
August 27, 2008
An Argument for More Skills-Focused Immigration
As we blogged earlier this week, the U.S. immigration laws do not really allow the nation to compete with other nations for the best and the brightest. In "Recruiting the Tired, the Poor, the Wretched Refuse: Immigrant talent in the U.S. is an underused recruiting source of high-performers" in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, Richard Herman and Raghav Singh note that "Over 200 million people now work and live outside their country of birth. This is the largest number in world history.... Countries from Canada to New Zealand are scrambling to attract highly skilled immigrants to their shores.... In contrast, U.S. immigration policy is not designed to attract talent. . . . U.S. immigration policy has never placed great emphasis on talent and capital attraction."
The punch line: "In order to cotinue attracting the best and brightest job-creating minds, the U.S. needs to enact immigration-law reform that places an emphasis on attracting skills to fill shortages, as well as investment capital."
America's Voice: Immigration in Election 2008
Frank Sharry on America's Voice has unveiled Immigration08.com, which will track key races in which immigration may prove to be a critical, even decisive issue. It will evaluate quantitatively how this issue plays out in the Presidential, key Congressional, and close gubernatorial campaigns and on Election Day. It will track the ads being broadcast, the press coverage of immigration issues, and commentary on the elections. Key constituencies and voter blocs will be targeted with pre- and post-November 4th polling to get underneath what is happening and how immigration impacted close elections.
Check it out regularly duruing the next few months.
Local Police and Immigration Enforcement
The Police Foundation has launched a national effort to bring together law enforcement leaders, public officials, scholars, and community stakeholders to collaboratively examine the implications of local law enforcement of immigration laws. The project’s culminated in a national conference (The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balnce Between Immigration enforcement and Civil Liberties) in Washington, D.C., on August 21-22, 2008, at which 200 law enforcement leaders, policy makers, scholars, and community leaders participated in discussions.
A story in the Washington Post reports on the conference and on the issues generally. Officials in many parts of the country remain reluctant to cooperate in immigration enforcement, saying they fear losing the trust of immigrant communities and worry about being accused of racial profiling. Despite a nationwide clamor against illegal immigration, only 55 of more than 18,000 police and law enforcement agencies across the country have signed agreements to coordinate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Police Foundation is producing a final report of the project. We will post a link when it is posted.
CUNY Immigration Clinic Opening
THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK (CUNY) SCHOOL OF LAW seeks applicants with a demonstrated commitment to our social justice mission for a tenure-track appointment to lead our Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC). IRRC is one of eight programs in the Law School’s renowned clinical program. Students currently work on litigation, policy advocacy, and community education projects in the following areas:
asylum, immigration remedies for survivors of domestic violence, immigrant labor, and deportation of immigrants with criminal convictions. Through its docket and curriculum, IRRC emphasizes legal support for community-based political organizing.
Duties include working collaboratively with other teachers in the clinical program; direct supervision of third-year students in client representation and project work; development of curriculum, simulations, and advocacy materials; and joint classroom teaching. Faculty members are expected to achieve excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service to the school and community.
Since its founding in 1983, the CUNY School of Law’s mission has been to graduate a diverse group of lawyers who are excellent public interest/public service lawyers. Consistent with this mission, the school has developed a rich three-year lawyering curriculum, culminating in experiential coursework that is required for all third-year students.
Recently, the Carnegie Report praised our educational program for the unique way it prepares students for practice through a curriculum that integrates law, lawyering and ethical decision making throughout the curriculum.
We seek a person who shares our commitment to social justice, who thinks deeply about practice models and strategies that work to promote justice. and who brings pedagogical insights to the design of programs to educate the next generation of public interest lawyers.
J.D. degree or its equivalent. A minimum of three years of post-law school work experience is required and five years of such experience is preferred. Substantial experience in trial and appellate deportation defense is strongly preferred. Clinical teaching or supervisory experience is also preferred. A record of scholarship or evidence of the ability to produce scholarship is required.
We will begin to review applications in early fall so interested candidates should apply as soon as possible. Please send resume and cover letter to:
Ms. Maureen McCafferty
Assistant to the Faculty Appointments Committee
City University of New York School of Law at Queens College
65-21 Main Street;
Flushing, NY 11367
Immigration Boosts Britain's Population
According to the Telegraph, immigration is a factor that fuels Great Britain's population:
The European Union's statistics office has projected a British population on the rise, growing from the current level of 61 million people to 77 million over the next 50 years.
As incoming migrants and rising birth rates multiply the number of Britons, Germany, currently Europe's most populous nation, is projected to decline from 82 million to 71 million people by 2060.
France will also overtake Germany to become the EU second-most populous country after Britain with 72 million residents, according to the forecast by Eurostat.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics, released last week, found that inward migration to Britain reached its highest level since the current method of counting was introduced, with 605,000 long-term immigrants arriving in the year to mid-2007.
The EU projections show that the wave of migration to Britain, boosting both the workforce and fertility rates, is out of step with many other European countries where deaths are expected to overtake births after 2015. Click here for the rest of the story.
On the LPGA's New English Only Rule
You probably have heard about the LPGA's new English only rule for professional women golfers. In "English-only rule in LPGA goes against the grain," Mark Herrmann writes that "It is hard to say which ideal gets trampled more by the LPGA’s new speak-English-or-you’re-out policy, the spirit of golf or the spirit of America. Either way, the women’s professional golf tour has turned a no-win situation into a big loss. . . . The gist is this: The LPGA, worried about losing interest among fans and sponsors, said it will suspend players who can’t pass an English oral exam after two years on tour. This appears aimed directly at South Koreans, who represent 45 of the 121 international players on the tour and who - British Women’s Open champion Ji-Yai Shin and U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park, to name two - are dominating." This gives new meaning to the concept of "discrimination by proxy," which historically understands english only laws as a way to target and punish national origin minorities and immigrants. Is language regulation being used by the LPGA to target the most successful women golfers (who just happen to be Asian)?