Saturday, September 20, 2008
Not far from UC Davis, ICE conducted a raid of a couple of Chinese restaurants and private homes yesterday. Henry Lee reports in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Federal agents have raided three Bay Area homes and two restaurants, arresting 21 undocumented immigrants who had been working at the establishments and living in squalor, authorities said Friday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents searched homes in Vacaville, Vallejo and Hercules on Wednesday as well as King's Buffet on Orange Drive in Vacaville and the Empire Buffet on Sonoma Boulevard in Vallejo, both Chinese restaurants.
Authorities are also investigating a second outlet of the Empire Buffet in San Pablo. That restaurant wasn't searched because it never opened Wednesday, most likely because agents had already rounded up its workers, said spokeswoman Virginia Kice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Authorities said 13 suspected undocumented immigrants had been found at the Chinese restaurants and the other eight had been found at homes owned by people linked to the establishments. One person was released on humanitarian grounds; the rest are to appear before federal immigration judges. Click here for the rest of the story.
Congratulations to clinic students at Saint Louis University School of Law:
We wish to congratulate our Clinic students and our Public Interest Law Group at Saint Louis University School of Law for organizing the largest Naturalization ceremony in St. Louis history, with 1,000 new citizens sworn in today at our new Chaifetz Arena on campus. Third year student Meggie Biesenthal welcomed the new citizens in a speech before a crowd of several thousand family and friends, and the keynote speech was delivered by Assistant Professor Amany Ragab Hacking, herself a naturalized citizen and member of our Clinic Faculty.
While our Clinic has joined with others to sue the federal government in the past for delaying citizenship for our clients, this is an example of how Clinics can help work to alleviate the delays in the citizenship process through partnerships with the agencies we often see on the opposite side of a lawsuit.
If you enjoy great photos and not a long story, click on the link for photos from the event from the Post Dispatch web site.
John J. Ammann, Clinic Driector
Saint Louis University School of Law
Overwhelmingly Hispanic voters think Sen. Barack Obama will be a better president for Hispanics than then his rival Sen. John McCain according to a survey issued by the Pew Hispanic Research Center. Hispanic registered voters support Obama over McCain by a 3 to 1 margin.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The troubling views on issues of race of John Tanton, one of the founders of the restrictionist Federation for American Immigration Reform, have long been the subject of critical commentary, including by conservative pundit Linda Chavez in her book Out of the Barrio. Here is the latest from the Southern Poverty Law Center about Tanton's views:
"Although Tanton has been linked to racist ideas in the past — fretting about the “educability” of Latinos, warning of whites being out-bred by others, and publishing a number of white nationalist authors — the papers in the Bentley Library show that Tanton has for decades been at the heart of the white nationalist scene. He has corresponded with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers and the leading white nationalist thinkers of the era. He introduced key FAIR leaders to the president of the Pioneer Fund, a white supremacist group set up to encourage “race betterment,” at a 1997 meeting at a private club. He wrote a major funder to encourage her to read the work of a radical anti-Semitic professor — to “give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life” — and suggested that the entire FAIR board discuss the professor’s theories on the Jews. He practically worshipped a principal architect of the Immigration Act of 1924 (instituting a national origin quota system and barring Asian immigration), a rabid anti-Semite whose pro-Nazi American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was indicted for sedition in 1942."
Kent Paterson writes that "A spirit of passion energized a U.S. Labor Day march against the border wall under construction by the Bush administration. Organized by human rights, religious, Chicano, student, and other activists from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, marchers set out from Fort Hancock, Texas, for a four-day trek to the border between Sunland Park, New Mexico, and Anapra, Mexico, on the northwestern edge of Ciudad Juarez. As the marchers passed through small towns, talking to residents, work proceeded on the new border barrier just up the road in El Paso."
From the Progressive States Network:
The Misguided Media Hype over Anti-Immigrant Legislation: Despite much media hype, the supposed wave of anti-immigrant politics has amounted to a few punitive laws in a handful of states, even as most states have quietly been moving forward with positive, integrative approaches to new immigrants in their communities. The Failed Use of Immigration as a “Wedge” Issue: The current hype around anti-immigrant policies is, unfortunately, about electoral politics. The media largely fell for the tactics of political opportunists who hoped to use the issue of immigration as a “wedge” issue, much as they have used gay marriage and other social issues to undermine progressive coalitions and support rightwing politicians during elections. Yet the result has largely been political failure for rightwing politicians trying to play the anti-immigrant political card. The Success of Positive Immigration Policy: Many states, including those where most immigrants live, now provide in-state tuition (so-called DREAM Acts) for undocumented immigrants going to public universities. Others are promoting policies to integrate immigrants through English language instruction and assistance in navigating the citizenship process. A number of states are providing health insurance to undocumented children. And instead of trying to punish immigrant workers, states are increasingly working with native and immigrant workers to crack down on bad employers who are violating minimum wage, safety and workers compensation laws. Highlighting Positive State Legislation for New Immigrants: In this report, we have provided a state-by-state summary of major immigrant-related policies, both punitive and integrative, enacted in the last few years. We divide states based on those policies into six categories, from integrative to punitive, and highlight charts and graphs that demonstrate that positive integrative policies are far more common in the states than negative punitive policies. A few key findings: Integrative policies are far more pervasive than punitive policies, with the later having been enacted only in a small minority of state populations. Only 11% of undocumented immigrants live in states that have enacted comprehensive punitive policies, while a significant majority of undocumented immigrants live in states with positive integrative or somewhat integrative policies. Only 16% of undocumented immigrants live in states that have enacted sanctions against private sector employers. On the other hand, over 50% of undocumented immigrants live in states that provide instate tuition for undocumented immigrant children. Nearly the same majority of undocumented immigrants live in states that are promoting “New Americans” policies to better educate new immigrants and nearly a majority also live in states that have recently enacted new penalties for wage law violations in order to raise wages for all workers, native and immigrant alike.
To read the full report, click here for a link.
Speaking of immigration films, see Michael A. Olivas's analysis of the classic immigration/asylum film El Norte in El Norte (1983): Immigration Mythology as Crossover Dream, in Rennard Strickland, Terre E. Foster, and Taunya Lovell Banks, eds. Screening Justice—The Cinema of Law: Significant Films of Law, Order, and Justice (Hein, 2006), 465-470 (Ch. 35). Download el_norte_screening_justice_the_cinema_of_law_olivas.pdf
There has been lots of talk on this blog about Senator Jon McCain's eligibility for the Presidency. BLT: The Blog of Legal Times reports that "A San Francisco federal judge ruled late Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain's claim of U.S. citizenship is strong enough that a lawsuit challenging his placement on the California ballot should be dismissed." Here is the opinion.
Update: Law.com reports that the plaintiffs seeking to derail Sen. John McCain's presidential bid by claiming that he not a natural born U.S. citizen are being stymied by four Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher associates. Aided by former U.S. Solicitor General and current Gibson Dunn partner Theodore Olson, the volunteers have spent the past months representing McCain and the Republican National Committee in litigation on this issue. Campaign finance rules prohibit pro bono work for political campaigns, but lawyers are allowed to volunteer on their own time.
Michael Savage, of right-wing, reactionary talk radio infamy, is at it again, this time attacking Muslim immigrants.
Savage on Muslim immigrants: 15th-century "throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists"
Summary: On The Savage Nation, discussing a caller's statement that "Muslim fundamentalists" are "walk[ing] around Northern Virginia as if they own the place," Michael Savage asked, "Why would a nation that is as evolved as America, and as liberal as America is socially, want to bring in throwbacks who are living in the 15th century?" He also asked: "What is the societal benefit of bringing in throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists?"
During the September 16 broadcast of The Savage Nation, host Michael Savage discussed what a caller described as "the garbage that comes in here legally." The caller stated, "[W]e talk about illegal aliens, but we tend to forget the garbage that comes in here legally. Like, I just moved to D.C., and all these Muslim fundamentalists, I mean, they walk around Northern Virginia as if they own the place." Savage responded: "All right, well, they do own the place -- they spit on Americans. They look at you with hatred if you're not wearing 14th- to 15th-century garb." Savage went on to add: "Why would a nation that is as evolved as America, and as liberal as America is socially, want to bring in throwbacks who are living in the 15th century? Now you have to ask yourself, what's the benefit? What is the societal benefit of bringing in throwbacks, some of whom are no doubt terrorists, and some of whom are gonna produce children who will become terrorists?"
As Media Matters for America noted on the August 4 broadcast of The Savage Nation, while discussing the Italian government's decision to deploy soldiers on city streets to combat violent crime for which, according to The New York Times, "illegal immigrants are broadly blamed," Savage stated: "Things are so bad in Europe that the Italians have put soldiers, military on their streets. Now, you have to understand what it means by things are so bad. The illegal immigrants, mainly Muslims and Africans, are out of control." He then added: "So they've done there what we need to do here. We need to get our troops out of Iraq and put them on the streets of America to protect us from the scourge of illegal immigrants who are running rampant across America, killing our police for sport, raping, murdering like a scythe across America while the liberal psychos are telling us they come here to work."
Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Savage's show, claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches at least 8.25 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it one of the most listened-to talk radio shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
Media Matters is calling on people to contact local radio stations to complain. To to mediamatters.org
SCOTUS Blog has put up a list of "petitions to watch" for the opening Supreme Court conference. Three immigration cases are on the list.
Docket: 07-1310 Case name: Grullon v. Mukasey Issue: Whether an alien facing deportation must exhaust his administrative remedies before seeking judicial review if the Board of Immigration Appeals has already rejected his argument while sitting en banc.
Docket: 07-1363 Case name: Viracacha v. Mukasey Issue: Whether the Immigration and Nationality Act bars judicial review of whether an alien failed to satisfy an exception to the one-year deadline for filing asylum claims, and, if so, whether the Constitution requires some review. Opinion below (7th Circuit)
Docket: 07-1609 Case name: Gordon v. United States Issue: Whether the presentation of an authentic but invalid green card to border agents starts the statute of limitations for the statute making it illegal for any alien to be "found in" the United States following deportation. Opinion below (7th Circuit)
Georgetown University's Center for Applied Legal Studies will offer one lawyer a two-year teaching fellowship (July 2009 - June 2011). The fellowship provides a unique opportunity to learn how to teach law in a clinical setting. Fellows and faculty members at the Center work as colleagues, sharing responsibilities for designing and teaching classes, selecting students for the Clinic, supervising law students in their representation of clients, grading, and all other matters. To complete the degree, the Fellow must write a law review article of publishable quality. Fellows are encouraged to set aside time to work on scholarship. This Fellowship is particularly suitable for lawyers who want to embark on careers in law teaching. Most of its previous holders are now teaching law. Since 1995, the Center has specialized in asylum cases, and currently focuses on asylum claims in Immigration Court. Therefore, applicants with experience in immigration law will be given preference. The Fellow must be a member of a bar at the start of the Fellowship period. The fellow will receive full tuition and fees in the LL.M. program at Georgetown University, and a stipend in excess of $50,000 in each of the two years. On successful completion of the requirements, the Fellow will be granted the degree of Master of Laws (Advocacy) with distinction. Recent holders of this fellowship include Mary Brittingham (1995-97), Andrea Goodman (1996-98), Michele Pistone (1997-99), Rebecca Story (1998-2000), Virgil Wiebe (1999-2001), Anna Marie Gallagher (2000-02), Regina Germain (2001-2003), Dina Francesca Haynes (2002-2004), Diane Uchimiya (2003-2005), Jaya Ramji-Nogales (2004-2006), Denise Gilman (2005-2007), Susan Benesh (2006-2008). The current Fellows are Kate Aschenbrenner and Anju Gupta . To apply, send a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, a writing sample, and a detailed statement of interest (approximately 5 pages) by December 3, 2008. The statement should address a) why you are interested in this fellowship; b) what you can contribute to the Clinic; c) your experience with asylum and other immigration cases; d) your professional or career goals for the next five or ten years; e) your reactions to the Clinic's goals and teaching methods as described on its website, http://www.law.georgetown.edu/clinics/cals/index.html; and f) anything else that you consider pertinent. Address your application to Philip G. Schrag and David A. Koplow, Directors, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown Law, 111 F Street, NW, Suite 332, Washington, D.C. 20001, or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wajahat Ali, a Muslim Pakistani-American playwright, journalist, humorist and writer, (and a former student of mine) will present excerpts from “The Domestic Crusaders” at Performing the World ’08 (PTW ’08), an international conference and festival that will take place from October 2-5, 2008 in New York City. PTW ‘’08 is expected to attract over 400 grassroots practitioners, activists, scholars and researchers from throughout the United States and around the world.
“The Domestic Crusaders” focuses on one day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family who come together to celebrate the 21st birthday of the youngest child. Against the backdrop of September 11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the tensions and sparks fly among three generations, culminating in an intense family battle as each “crusader” struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions, while still attempting to maintain and understand that unifying thread that makes them part of the same family.
“The Domestic Crusaders,” a play the Pulitzer nominated author and poet Ishmael Reed says should be “ranked with family dramas written by Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neil,” is the first major play about Muslim Americans. It premiered in 2005 to critical and audience acclaim at Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Thrust Stage.
The session led by by Mr. Ali is just one of over 150 presentations and performances that will take place at PTW ’08, a bi-annual conference co-sponsored by the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy (Institute) and the All Stars Project. The Institute (www.eastsideinstitute.org) is an independent, international non-profit training and research center recognized for its cutting edge approach to human development. The All Stars Project (www.allstars.org) is recognized for its highly successful performance-based outside-of-school developmental programs for young people whose outside-of-school youth.
The Hazelton, Pa immigration ordinance, which a court struck down, gets lots of the press. But a similar ordinance passed in Valley Park, MO survived a court challenge. For a discussion of that law, see Sarah E. Mullen-Domínguez, ALIENATING THE UNALIENABLE: EQUAL PROTECTION AND VALLEY PARK, MISSOURI'S ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ORDINANCE, 52 SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 1317 (2008). Download SaintLouis.rtf
Bromfield v. Mukasey: This 9th Circuit case essentially finds a pattern and practice of persecution against gay men in Jamaica! http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/D29B2BBB66830B20882574C500577096/$file/0575844.pdf?openelement
Hats off to Northwest Immigrants Rights Project!
And we thought we were safe this election season. But there has been a flurry of immigration ads and stories this week. Check them out at
Starting tomorrow, the Public Reason blog will host an "on-line symposium" for several weeks in which contributors will post papers, assigned respondents will reply, and people may post questions and comments. The main papers and some of the replies will be available as podcasts as well. Details are here. The first paper goes on-line some time tomorrow. Alex Sager, a grad student at the University of Calgary, is the author of the paper, which is entitled "What Immigrants Owe Society: Obligations of Integration?" The reply is by Matt Lister, a frequent commentor on this blog.
Bill Hing posted the news yesterday about the Ninth Circuit decision in the Arizona employer sanctions case. Judge Mary Schroeder (Arizona), joined by Judges Walker (Second Circuit), and Smith, wrote the decision. In the court's words, "This case is a facial challenge to an Arizona state law, enacted in 2007 and aimed at illegal immigration, that reflects rising frustration with the United States Congress’s failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform. The Arizona law, called the Legal Arizona Workers Act, targets employers who hire illegal aliens, and its principal sanction is the revocation of state licenses to do business in Arizona. ... The district court correctly determined that the Act was a “licensing” law within the meaning of the federal provision and therefore was not expressly preempted. ... We [also] hold that such a requirement to use the federal verification tool, for which there is no substitute under development in either the state, federal, or private sectors, is not expressly or impliedly preempted by federal policy."