Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pew Report Shows Slowing Undocumented Migration

A new study from the Pew Hispanic Center shows the number of undocumented immigrants coming to the United States did not increase between 2007 and 2008, and may have fallen by several hundred thousand. Researchers have found, again and again, that immigration slows in the face of a sluggish U.S. economy. 

"This potential decline in undocumented immigration comes as no shock.  The U.S. economy is in a slump and immigrants are smart.  They come here to work." said Angela Kelley, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. "Immigrants have always responded predictably and rationally to economic downturns and the current crisis is no exception."

While some critics attribute the decrease in immigration to highly criticized stepped-up enforcement measures-or "attrition through enforcement"-there is an overwhelming cadre of evidence showing that undocumented immigration to the United States is driven largely by economics, including recent findings by Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California-San Diego, showing that undocumented migration clearly responds to changing U.S. economic conditions, not policy decisions.

A second study put out by Pew showing that the immigrants that are already here are having a harder time making a living evidences the current economic disincentives contributing to Pew's estimated decline in undocumented immigration.  Pew has also reported a decrease in remittances sent from U.S. immigrants to Latin America which the Bank of Mexico predicts will likely continue in the coming months because of the "difficult problems the U.S. economy faces."  It's no wonder that immigration is slowing down when Pew is also reporting that 63% of foreign-born Latinos say the situation of Latinos in the U.S. has gotten worse over the past year.

All of these factors point to one clear conclusion:  undocumented immigrants choose where to live and work based on the fluctuating economics of survival, not on the politics of ineffective immigration enforcement.

Fact Sheet from the Immigration Policy Center:
"Fewer Job Openings Equals Fewer Immigrants: Undocumented Immigration Slows Along With the U.S. Economy"  (Washington, DC: October 2008).


October 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Grand Jury Investigating SF "Sanctuary" Policy

It seems like San Francisco has been in the immigration news all summer.  here we go again.  The S.F. Chronicle reports that a federal grand jury is investigating whether San Francisco's policy of offering sanctuary to undocumented immigrants violates U.S. laws against harboring people who are in the country illegally, according to city officials. City Attorney Dennis Herrera said his office has hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent employees who might be questioned or asked for documents.

What next?


October 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 3, 2008

TPS Information

What happens to non-citizens who are in the U.S. when an armed conflict or natural disaster makes their return home difficult or unsafe? Since 1990, temporary protected status, or "TPS", has authorized citizens of designated countries where conditions are dangerous to reside and work temporarily in the U.S. Recently DHS extended TPS for the citizens of several countries.

We want to alert you to resources about TPS available through the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) and our partner organizations. On Immigration Advocates Network: The "Alerts" section contains: - Notice of TPS extension until September 9, 2010 for El Salvadorans at

- Notice of TPS extension until July 5, 2010 for Hondurans at

- Notice of TPS extension until July 5, 2010 for Nicaraguans at

- Notice of TPS extension until May 2, 2010 for Sudanese at

- Notice of TPS extension until September 17, 2009 for Somalis at

- Notice reminding TPS applicants of correct form at

Other TPS Materials:

American Immigration Law Foundation The American Immigration Law Foundation website includes information on a lawsuit filed on behalf of TPS applicants at

Immigrant Legal Resource Center The Immigrant Legal Resource Center's website includes an introduction to TPS and information about general TPS provisions at

National Immigration Law Center The National Immigration Law Center website offers a description of TPS and related work authorization issues at

The Advocates for Human Rights The Advocates for Human Rights website provides a fact sheet on TPS for Liberians


October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Article on Immigrants in the Workplace

Duff Michael Duff (Wyoming) has written an interesting new article entitled "Embracing Paradox: Three Problems the NLRB Must Confront to Resist Further Erosion of Labor Rights in the Expanding Immigrant Workplace" and will be appearing in the Spring 2009 issue of Berkley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.  Here is an abstract:

This article discusses the Supreme Court's 2002 Hoffman Plastic Compounds opinion, normally considered in terms of its social justice ramifications, from the different perspective of NLRB attorneys tasked with pursuing enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) under the conceptually (and practically) odd rubric that some NLRA employees (unauthorized workers) have no remedy under the NLRA. The article focuses on three problems evincing paradox. First, NLRB attorneys prosecuting cases involving these workers will probably gain knowledge of unlawful background immigration conduct. To what extent must the attorneys disclose it, and to whom? Second, NLRB attorneys are extraordinarily reliant on the broad crediting of employee witnesses to establish unlawful employer conduct. How can NLRB attorneys win credibility-based cases heard before judges who may be predisposed to disbelieve witnesses based on the witnesses' unauthorized status? Third, after Hoffman bargaining units under the NLRA, which are certified when a union gains the support of a majority of employees in a work setting, can be severely impacted by the absence of a discharge remedy. How can the structural integrity of the NLRA be maintained if employers may simply discharge union-represented, unauthorized workers, without real remedial consequence, until the union's majority support, and with it the employer's obligation to bargain, is destroyed? Assessing the NLRB's peculiar, post-Hoffman investigative policy of assiduously avoiding immigration issues, the article contrarily recommends active engagement with the problems identified, and chides the agency's failure to embrace new paradox in the expanding immigrant workplace as a serious abdication of its mission."


October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ninth Circuit Immigration Outline

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Immigration Outline, prepared by the Office of Staff Attorneys, has ben released in a new June 2008 edition:

"The Immigration Outline is provided as a resource to assist attorneys in analyzing petitions for review. It synthesizes procedural and substantive principles relating to immigration law in the Ninth Circuit and covers the following topics: Jurisdiction, Standards of Review, Relief from Removal (e.g. Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status), Motions to Reopen or Reconsider, Criminal Issues, Due Process, and Attorney Fees."


October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cheryl Little Wins 2008 Morris Dees Justice Award

Cheryllittle "Today Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates and The University of Alabama School of Law announced that Cheryl Little, Executive Director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC), a not-for-profit legal assistance organization in Miami, has been awarded the 2008 Morris Dees Justice Award." Little is considered one of the country’s leading experts on immigration law and has been dedicated to upholding the rights of immigrants throughout her professional career, which spans more than two decades. She has done particularly noteworthy work on behalf of refugees from Haiti.  For the full story, click here.


October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Alabama Bars Community College for Undocumented

When will we understand that it's not in our nation's best interest to block educational opportunities for all immigrants--even college students who happen to be undocumented? Most of these students will remain in the U.S. for the rest of their lives. When will we understand that when they do well, we all do well? And when will Congress pass the DREAM Act? From Mary Ann Zehr of Education Week:

Alabama has joined North Carolina in deciding not to admit undocumented immigrants to community colleges. The policy will go into effect next spring. The Alabama state board of education approved the policy on Sept. 26.

Last May North Carolina barred undocumented students from community colleges and decided to stick with that policy even after it received clarification from the federal government that it could go either way: admit or not admit them. South Carolina has enacted a law saying undocumented students can't be admitted to ANY state colleges. And Arkansas education officials have said the state won't pay for colleges and universities to educate undocumented students--and they are requiring state institutions of higher education to ask students about their immigration status.

This list of states that are denying access is short, but all of these policies came about only since spring, so the trend has gained momentum in a short while. Click here for the rest of her blog.


October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Riverside Chinatown Faces the Axe

Throughout the history of Chinese immigration to the United States, Chinatowns played a vital role for Chinese immigrants. Accepted by many, other Chinese immigrants were subjected to harrassment and hate crimes, and that sentiment eventually led to the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chinatowns were a source of "home" for many of these immigrants, and in many parts of th country, the only place a Chinese person could reside. Slowly, many Chinatowns have disappeared. Here's a letter from a friend about Riverside, California's Chinatown:

Dear Supporters:

The forebearers of California's Asian communities moved mountains building America's railroad, parted the waters building California's vital levees, and laid the foundation for this state's world class agriculture.

But because of intolerance, these Chinese pioneers were regulated to the outskirts of town… today's prime real estate for land development.

And like so much of our chapter in American history, the places of our Chinese forebearers also continue to be Driven Out, scattered under rock and rubble, this time in the name of revitalization.

Now the Riverside Chinatown faces the ethnic cleansing from the American landscape. Riverside Chinatown is an archaeological site on the National Register of Historic places. It is about to be destroyed because it is being sold by Riverside County Schools to a developer who is going to put a medical building on the site. Earthmoving equipment is already on the site.

Let's not continue to be Driven Out or hidden in the shadows of Exclusion.

Email Riverside Mayor Ronald Loveridge at and Riverside Councilmember Mike Gardner at to express your concern regarding the preservation of our Chinese heritage in Riverside.

Please cc Deborah Wong at who is coordinating this effort.

Thank you,
Steve Yee
Vice Chair
Yee Fow Center for History, Culture, and Trade Advisory Board

October 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

More on "Gangs"

Yesterday we reported on a new CIS Study on "gang" enforcement by ICE.  Today, the New York Times reports that four-month nationwide crackdown on gangs has brought the arrest of 1,759 people — gang members and their associates, other criminals and immigration violators — from more than 20 countries." For the full story, click here.


October 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Fewer Trying to Cross Border Without Authorization, a Pew Hispanic Center Report Finds

The latest arrest figures from the Border Patrol and a report released on Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center indicate that fewer people are trying to enter the United States illegally and that the number living here without documents has declined.


October 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-Immigrant Krikorian and Malkin Draw Criticism from Own Side

Stephen_bainbridge In “They Make You Embarrassed to be a Conservative,” UCLA law professor Professor Stephen Bainbridge -- never confused for being a bleeding heart liberal -- criticizes Mark Krikorian and Michelle Malkin for blaming the current economic downturn on minorities and undocumented immigrants:

"Some of my fellow conservatives are not only embarrassing themselves during the financial crisis, they’re embarrassing the rest of us who share that label. E.g., Mark Krikorian, who poses the question of whether there’s a cause and effect relationship between WaMu’s failure and its affirmative action policies. Worse yet, is Michaelle Malkin, who somehow manages to conflate the financial crisis with illegal immigration."


October 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

VIDEO: What Part of “Legal” Don’t You Understand, Lou?

Dobbs From Truth in Immigration

Part One of "Lou Dobbs’ Convention of Lies" analyzed several distortions Lou made on his September 10th edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, at a rally by the Federation for American Immigration Reform. For Part Two, click on the video at this link.


October 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On John McCain's Eligibility for the Presidency

Arizona Law Prof Jack Chin's claim that John McCain was ineligible to be President has generated much heat and light.  The Michigan Law Review's online publication "First Impressions" has released an "An Online Symposium on Senator John McCain and Natural Born Citizenship" that adds to the debate. Contributors include

Gabriel J. Chin, University of Arizona Law School

Lawrence B. Solum, University of Illinois Law School

Daniel P. Tokaji, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law

Peter J. Spiro, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Stephen E. Sachs


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

John McCain Approved this Ad!

Mccain_context Here's a link to a new Spanish-language ad from Senator John McCain that claims that Senator Barack Obama killed comprehensive immigration reform.  It also uses out-of-context a quote from Senator Joe Biden about Mexico.

A rough translation:

"What's worse? That Obama and his allies in Congress killed immigration reform? Or that his immigration attacks (on McCain) were criticized by the media as 'unjust,' 'absolutely and completely wrong,' and 'fraudulent'? Or that Obama and his liberal allies think that the United States has an immigration problem because, as they literally said, 'Mexico is a dysfunctional society'? They have said 'no' too many times. In this election, let's say 'no' to them."

What does this say about the McCain campaign's views about the intelligence of Latina/o voters?


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Support Pro-Immigrant Family Bills

From Will Coley:

Please check out these new videos I made that show you how to support recent pro-immigrant family bills in Congress. Be sure to click "watch in high quality" at the bottom right hand corner of the video, under the video time length.

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE ( to support "The Child Citizen Protection Act" (H.R. 1176)*.
You can also express your support for the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 2221)*.

CALL YOUR SENATORS  ( to support "The Protect Citizens and Residents from Unlawful Raids and Detention Act" (S. 3594)*.
You can also express your support for the Uniting American Families Act (S. 1328)*.

Be sure to call ASAP 9:00 am - 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time!

These videos could use some fine-tuning so please let us know what you think and/or leave a comment on YouTube. Sincerely, Will Coley

Read more about these bills at
At the bottom of the center panel under "Bill Number", select "H.R."
or "S" and type in either bill number.
H.R. 1176:
S. 3594:
H.R. 2221 and S.1328:


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Asylum Seekers charged with Document Fraud have their Cases Tossed

Two African women who sought asylum in the United States only to be arrested at the Canadian border lost federal appeals Monday to have their cases tossed   
Linda Malenge, a Congolese native, was arrested by U.S. Customs agents after she boarded an Amtrak train for New York City on Feb. 26, 2006. She was given time already served after pleading guilty in June 2007 to false personation and false use and misuse of a passport.

She later served time in the Washington County jail, but appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan, hoping to get the indictment tossed.

But the court upheld the decision while showing a degree of understanding to the woman's plight.

"We do not take lightly the fact that Malenge tried to enter the country by presenting false identification and lying to border officers," the decision stated, "But we also recognize that some refugees, particularly those fleeing political violence, harbor a natural distrust of government officials."

The appeals court also upheld the indictment against Ramatulai Barry, a native of Guinea stopped on Sept. 9, 2006, as she tried to enter the U.S. to find her husband, The Asylum Office representative later found she held showed a "credible fear of persecution based on her testimony that she had been threatened, raped and tortured by Guinean police officers due to her political activity." She had also "described being subjected to female genital mutilation by her family in Guinea," court papers said. But the appeal was rejected.  For the full story, click here.


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

A Bad Case for Workers in New York

Undocumented workers who violate IRCA may not recover lost wages in a personal injury action based on a violation of New York Labor Law. The opinion is available at Courts have yielded mixed results in the decision on whether to award lost wages. Those who deny lost wages view this remedy as similar to backpay, which was denied in Hoffman Plastics, given that it awards damages for “would have" rather than already earned wages in contravention of IRCA. Courts that have granted lost wages emphasize instead the prevalence of the states’ interest in protecting workers, absent an explicit mandate from Congress. Contrast Veliz v. Rental Serv. Corp. USA, 313 F.Supp. 2d 1317, 1337 (M.D. Fla. 2003) and Hernandez_Cortez v. Hernandez, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19780 (D. Kan. 2003) (relying on Hoffman Plastics to deny lost wages as a remedy for the work-related death of a worker) with Majlinger v. Casino Contracting Corp., 25 A.D.3d 14 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. 2005) and Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Guzman, 116 S.W.3d 233 (Tex. App. 2003) (awarding lost wages to undocumented worker). ra

October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Congress extends SSI coverage for Refugees

The 110th Congress passed H.R. 2608, on Sept. 30, 2008, to amend section 402 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 to provide, in fiscal years 2009 through 2011, extensions of supplemental security income for refugees, asylees, and certain other humanitarian
immigrants, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to collect unemployment
compensation debts resulting from fraud. The legislation is available online.


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

New Scientific Formula for Predicting Migration Flows

Scientists have devised a formula to allow countries to predict immigration trends, according to a study published on Monday.

The new mathematical model is based on a detailed study of the flow of people into 11 countries including the United States, Britain and Australia from 1960 to 2004, a team led by Joel Cohen of the Rockefeller University in New York said.

The formula looks at factors such as population size and density of the countries people are leaving as well as those they are entering, and the distance between those places.

The mathematical model can be used to predict immigration trends in individual countries and regions, the researchers said, although they did not make such calculations. Click here for the full story.

The Processing of the National Academy of Sciences are available online.


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

New CIS report on "Gang" enforcement

A new Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder finds that immigration law enforcement has been highly effective in fighting gang activity around the country. Local law enforcement agencies that shun involvement with immigration law enforcement are missing an opportunity to protect their communities, according to the authors. That report, which was funded by DOJ, is available online.

Of course, what the authors will not tell you is how expansive the definition of gang member has become under ICE's definition such that anyone who associates with potential gang members, including family and friends, are included.  Nor do you learn in this study that ICE's enforcement tactics are terrorizing Brown communities especially and separating families. For an excellent critique of ICE's gang enforcement, see Jennifer Chacon, Whose Community Shield?:  Examining the Removal of the "Criminal Street Gang Member," 2007 U. Chi. Legal F. 317 (2007).


October 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)