Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Court Challenge to "Stipulated Removal"

Today, a coalition of immigrants' rights organizations asked a federal judge to compel the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to disclose information about a program under which it removes non-citizens from the U.S. without hearings before immigration judges. The program, called "stipulated removal," has resulted in the removal of over 96,000 non-citizens since its inception. The Stanford Immigrants' Rights Clinic, together with the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the ACLU of Southern California (ACLUSC) and the National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco (NLGSF) filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to gain access to agency records about stipulated removal from DHS and its sub-agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The lawsuit also seeks access to records from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). Stipulated removal allows the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to remove a non-citizen, even one with valid defenses against deportation, as long as the non-citizen signs an order.

DHS appears to target non-citizens in immigration detention for stipulated removal, and does not allow the non-citizen to appear before a judge prior to being deported. Advocates have expressed concerns that immigrants signing these orders do not realize they are giving up their rights to challenge their deportation. In the lawsuit, NLGSF et al. v U.S. DHS, the plaintiffs note that news reports, Congressional testimony, and agency press releases reveal that the DHS and DOJ have broadly implemented stipulated removal on a nationwide basis for at least 12 years. However, DHS and DOJ have failed to produce records that reflect the full scope of stipulated removal's implementation, and the select information DHS and DOJ have divulged to date provide a "strong indication that other documents have been improperly withheld."

"DHS is running a federal program that has resulted in the deportation of almost 100,000 people without legal hearings, and yet the public knows very little about the program," said Jayashri Srikantiah, director of the Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School. "Stipulated removal raises serious due process concerns because immigrant detainees may not know that they are signing away their rights, and no judge ever speaks to the detainee to ensure that they understand the process." The lawsuit comes after two FOIA requests in December 2005 and February 2008 yielded only minimal information. According to data that was released under those FOIA requests by the DOJ's Executive Office of Immigration Review, that office entered 96,241 stipulated removal orders between October 1999 and June 2008. Karen Tumlin, Staff Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, observes: "DHS has revealed close to nothing about a program that impacts thousands of immigrants' due process rights. The stipulated removal program gives detained immigrants an impossible choice: sign away your rights or stay in detention." "Immigrant detainees may be refugees or have U.S. citizen family members," said Ahilan Arulanantham, an ACLU of Southern California staff attorney. "The public should know whether DHS is pressuring these detainees to give up their right to a hearing." "Stipulated removal appears to target the most vulnerable parts of the immigrant population," observed Carlos Villarreal, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild - San Francisco Bay Area. "Immigrant detainees often lack the money to pay for lawyers and bond money to get out of detention." Jennifer Lee Koh, Cooley Godward Kronish Fellow with Stanford Immigrants' Rights Clinic, said: "Before DHS further expands its implementation of stipulated removal, the public should know whether the program satisfies basic due process requirements. Immigrant detainees should know exactly what they are giving up when they sign a stipulated order." Students in the Stanford Immigrants' Rights Clinic participated in drafting the FOIA requests and the complaint filed today. For more background about stipulated removal, see Backgrounder: Stipulated Removal-- Federal authorities are deporting immigrants without hearings, but the public knows very little about the program, here Download backgrounder20final1.pdf

For an op/ed about stipulated removal in teh L.A. Times, click here.


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

URGENT: IOLTA and FDIC Issue Affects Funding

Dear Friends,

Many legal services programs across the country rely on IOLTA (lawyers trust fund account programs) funds to represent immigrants because of Legal Services Corporation funding restrictions. Letters from attorneys are needed immediately. Here are some urgent messages related to possible funding impact on IOLTA programs that the recent bail out mess will affect if not changed:

Hello IOLTA Executive Directors and Directors of Litigation & Advocacy –
My apologies for duplicate postings!

A very time-sensitive HEADS UP – an inadvertent impact of the recent federal financial bail-out is a program that may lead many attorneys to move their IOLTA accounts to NON-interest bearing accounts in order to access the increased FDIC insurance.

The ABA has been leading a national campaign to encourage modification to this program (described below in more detail) for IOLTA accounts.  PIC has been working closely with Stephanie Choy at the State Bar to obtain “dear colleague” letters from the CA delegation to the agency in support of this modification– with good success! (And many thanks to those of you who have already helped out with that particular effort).

PIC was advised by the ABA and NLADA that they do NOT want letters from individual IOLTA-funded programs.   To our understanding, that is STILL the case.

However, it appears from the email below that letters from attorneys in the private bar (so perhaps your board members!) would now be helpful.  The timing is VERY tight – the deadline is tomorrow, Thursday 11/13.  If you have time to contact your board members about doing letters, that would be wonderful. 

We will keep you posted as we hear more from the ABA!
Julia R. Wilson
Executive Director

Dear Access to Justice Colleagues,
We have an urgent request for your assistance as we advocate for full FDIC insurance coverage of IOLTA accounts.  As you may be aware, the FDIC announced its Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP) and issued interim regulations last month under which unlimited FDIC insurance was extended to non-interest bearing transaction accounts.  The unintended consequence of this action is that a client’s total funds in one financial institution including the amount in an IOLTA account exceeding $250,000 are eligible for unlimited insurance only if they are moved to a covered “non-interest bearing deposit transaction account.”
The American Bar Association and others are seeking inclusion of IOLTA in the unlimited FDIC insurance coverage of the TLGP.  We are now asking for your help with these efforts, but time is of the essence:  The deadline to submit comments to the FDIC is November 13, 2008.
To help with this effort, you can:
(1) Ask ATJ Board Members and other lawyers in your community to submit comments to the FDIC.   
Please ask lawyers to share their experiences, interest in this issue, and concerns.  Please give examples of the public good that results from the IOLTA funds and potential consequences of IOLTA not being included in the TLGP, e.g. ethical dilemmas for lawyers in mandatory states, loss of critical legal aid funding.  The attached ABA one-pager can help lawyers formulate their personalized remarks. Comments can be submitted on the FDIC website or by e-mail as follows:   
• Agency Website:
TLGP listing is at bottom of page titled “Open for Comments.”
• E-mail:
Include RIN # 3064–AD37 on the subject line of the message.
(2) Please coordinate with ABA Governmental Affairs Office.
Please send copies of messages sent by your  board members or others to Julie Strandlie at; 202 662-1764 of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office so that we can better coordinate this effort.  Please do not hesitate to contact Julie should you have any questions
Thank you very much for your assistance!


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Report: "Effective Border Policy: Security, Responsibility and Human Rights at the U.S.-Mexico Border"

The U.S.-Mexico Border Policy Report entitled "Effective Border Policy: Security, Responsibility and Human Rights at the U.S.-Mexico Border" November 2008, Washington, D.C. It is the work of the Border Network for Human Rights, the Border Action Network, and the U.S.-Mexico Border and Immigration Task Force, in collaboration with the National Immigration Forum.

The report reviews the impacts of the militarization of the border and makes a number of policy recommendations.


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Texas to Create Driver's License Checkpoints?

The Houston Chronicle reports that the state of Texas is considering statewide driver's license checkpoints, part of what several lawmakers have suggested is a plan to crack down on undocumented immigrants. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been asked to issue an opinion on the legality of driver's license checkpoints. Staffed by state troopers or local police, the checkpoints would stop drivers to review their licenses, vehicle registrations and proof of insurance.


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lipman Challenges the Myth that "Illegals do NOT pay taxes"

Lipman_f Law Blog Emperor Paul Caron has beat me to the punch but take a look at Francine Lipman, The Undocumented Immigrant Tax in UNDOCUMENTED HISPANIC IMMIGRANTS IN AMERICA: PROBLEMS, BENEFITS AND PROSPECTS (University of North Texas Press, 2008).  Here is an abstract:  "Illegals do NOT pay taxes." As a law professor researching and writing about undocumented immigrants and their tax issues I see this comment in my email inbox and hear it during outreach efforts routinely. Every time I hear or read this or a similar comment, my whole body cringes. This short statement truly embodies the exploitation of the immigration debate. While this statement is often delivered from mainstream individuals, its origin can be traced to extremist rhetoric. Anti-immigrant and anti-Latino extremists have used outright bigotry to frame the immigration debate to advance their own supremacist agenda. By positioning themselves as legitimate advocates against illegal immigration in America these groups have broadened their base and mainstreamed their message. These groups "are frequently quoted in the media, have been called to testify before Congress, and often hold meetings with lawmakers and other public figures." As a result, in many American communities immigrants live in fear and suffer a toxic environment in which hateful rhetoric targeting immigrants has become an acceptable part of daily news and discourse. This Essay is an answer to this insidious vilification and arrant racism. This Essay will debunk the short, but maladroit statement that "illegals do NOT pay taxes." First, calling a group of people "illegals" is hateful, "racially loaded, imprecise, and pejorative." Scholars, and children, understand that language and discourse can contribute to vile acts including crime, abuse and other social problems. Historical and current atrocities including the Holocaust, Darfur and the murder of Matthew Shepard are horrific examples of this intolerable truth. The term "illegals" is patently dehumanizing and inappropriate terminology, and its persistent use by extremists, as well as mainstream media and the general population, must stop now. Second, as a low-income taxpayer and human rights advocate, I understand that pervasive misunderstanding regarding undocumented immigrants evinces the frustration and fear that many Americans feel about the challenging state of the U.S. and global economies. Restrictionists feed this frustration and fear with inflammatory propaganda about undocumented immigrants and our tax systems. Because of overwhelming complexity and lack of transparency in this system it is easy to misrepresent and distort the facts. As a result, some Americans believe the absolutely irrational and self-delusional assertion that undocumented immigrants do not pay any taxes. This gross falsehood is counterproductive for the speaker, the subject, and the U.S. and global economies. Finally, as a tax professor I am charged with teaching tax and these comments broadcast loudly and boldly how misinformed Americans are about our tax systems. The well documented facts evidence that undocumented immigrants have paid hundreds of billions of dollars in American taxes to date. In most cases undocumented immigrants pay more in tax each year than similarly situated U.S. citizens. This additional tax, which is first exposed and labeled here as "the undocumented immigrant tax," is the subject of this Essay. This Essay will describe the depth and breadth of undocumented immigrants as a resource for tax payments made to government coffers across the country. The depth and breadth will be evinced by describing the myriad of different federal, state and local taxes undocumented immigrants are subject to and pay. But most notably this Essay will verify that not only do undocumented immigrants pay the same taxes that U.S. citizens and documented residents pay, but in addition they are subject to and pay what I am describing as "the undocumented immigrant tax." The undocumented immigrant tax is effectively an additional tax burden, a surtax or tariff on undocumented immigrants and their families. As a result, not only do undocumented immigrants pay taxes, but they bear a greater tax burden than similarly situated U.S. citizens and documented residents."

A UC Davis Law alum, Lipman has published some influential scholarship on immigrant taxpayers.


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

AMA Steps UP: Will Study Repatriation of Uninsured Immigrant Patients

The N.Y. Times reports that "The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted Monday to undertake a study of the repatriation of uninsured immigrant patients by hospitals, a practice that has been examined by The New York Times in two recent reports."


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sign of the Times? Hate Crime on Long Island: “Let’s go find some Mexicans”

As ImmigrationProf Blog reported a couple of weeks ago, the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics Report found that crimes motivated by anti-Hispanic bias had risen dramatically over the past few years. Sadly, we have recent evidence of that trend.  Bill Hing reported on this earlier today.  The N.Y. Times has an op/ed on a horrible murder of a Ecuadoran immigrant in a Long Island suburb.  According to the prosecutor in the case, the chant of the teenagers accused of the crime, which sends chills up and down my spine, was "`Let’s go find some Mexicans.'”  The teens did not find a person of Mexican ancestry but apparently an Ecuadoran would do!

We need political, community, and other leaders to denounce hate crimes against immigrants.  Senator Obama during the presidential campaign denounced such violent scapegoating:

"31. What would you do to address the racist and nativist rhetoric that is becoming mainstreamed and that is tied to a rising crime wave fueled by the same sentiment?

I have spoken out against hateful rhetoric and will continue to do so. I'll keep fighting and work for a civil debate about immigration where we begin to recognize ourselves in one another."

UPDATE  For more on this story, see here and here.


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Hate Crime Hearing Scheduled for Thursday

Dave Marcus reports in Newsday:

A friend, Jose Morales, said Marcello Lucero rarely walked at night because he was afraid of being attacked by muggers who prey on Hispanics, but on Saturday he decided to walk a few blocks away to watch a movie at a friend's apartment. As Lucero passed Morales' house, he left a voice-mail message: "Hey, I'm outside." Morales was asleep, but his cell phone recorded the time of the call - 11:36 and 57 seconds - just minutes before Lucerno was killed.

Police blame a group of seven teenagers, who they say were looking to kill a Hispanic - any Hispanic. Click here for the rest of the story.


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

ImmigrationProf Among Top 50 National Security Blogs

It may surprise some of our readers but the ImmigrationProf blog has been listed as one of the "Top 50 Homeland Security Blogs" on the e-Justice Blog.


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles

New immigration articles from the Social Science Research ( network:

Exploitation Nation: Use and Abuse of Migrant Labor within the Public and Private Spheres of a Free Market Economy Dina Francesca Haynes, New England School of Law

Sub-National Immigration Regulation & the Pursuit of Cultural Cohesion Pratheepan Gulasekaram, Santa Clara University School of Law

Desertification [plus] Migration = Security? Michelle T. Leighton, University of San Francisco - School of Law


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The 1965 Immigration Act and Senator Obama's Election

For the interesting claim that the Immigration Act of 1965 resulted in the diverse country necessary to the election of President-elect Obama, click here.


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic Wins Habeas Case!

Cooper_2 Holly Cooper and the students of the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic won a nice victory in the Ninth Circuit in Flores-Torres v. Mukasey, Nov. 10, 2008. The case involved a claim to citizenship, judicial review, and detention:

"Torres asserts that his detention is unlawful because he is a citizen – that he automatically derived citizenship from his mother under the former 8 U.S.C. § 1432 when he was seventeen because he was born out of wedlock and was not legitimated by his father. His claim is non-frivolous on its face. The government’s authority to detain Torres appears to depend on the question of whether he was legitimated by his father under El Salvadoran law. The district court is the appropriate forum to resolve such a claim. We hold that Torres does not have to wait until his removal proceedings are completed and a final removal order is issued before he can secure habeas review of his citizenship claim and of his contention that he may not be detained under the INA. For the reasons stated above, the district court has jurisdiction over Torres’s habeas petition challenging his detention. We therefore remand to the district court to hear the merits of his habeas petition."


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Sukhee Kang (Korea)

Sukhee_kang Sukhee Kang, born in Korea, was just elected the mayor of Irvine, California. On Tuesday, Irvine voters elected the city's first nonwhite mayor. Accpording to the LA Times, "Sukhee Kang, a Korean immigrant and city councilman, credits his success to knocking on 10,000 doors, building up his credibility through two City Council terms and amassing a multiethnic coalition of voters."

Kang immigrated to Orange County at age 24.  He was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2004 and won re-election in 2006.

Born and raised in South Korea, Sukhee and his wife Joanne came to the United States in 1977 after his graduation from Korea University in Seoul. Sukhee Kang began his professional career with Circuit City Stores sales and customer service. He was promoted to senior management positions and earned recognition for his service oriented philosophy. His efforts on behalf of the Korean American community, including his past service as Chairman of the Korean American Coalition Orange County and President of the Korean American Education Scholarship Foundation, provided an introduction to community leadership that would ultimately inspire Sukhee to run for the Irvine City Council.

Active throughout the Irvine community, Sukhee Kang has forged strong and supportive relationships with the business community, the education community and the many cultural, service and non-profit organizations that serve the citizens of Irvine.

Prior to his service on the Irvine City Council, Sukhee Kang served as a Governor’s appointee on the California Workforce Investment Board and was the Mayor’s appointee to the Irvine Finance Commission. As a City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem, Sukhee served as a member of the Orange County Great Park Board, Orange County Sanitation District Board, Transportation Corridor Agency Board, Executive Steering Committee of the League of California Cities Orange County Division, and Orange County Transportation Authority Measure M Super Committee.


November 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 10, 2008


The U.S Citizen & Immigration Services has issue a "Fact Sheet" on military naturalization (dated Nov. 6, 2008).  Download military_naturalization_200811061.pdf


November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Former IRA Member Faces Removal

Things have calmed down in Northern Ireland.  Nonetheless, AP reports that a former Irish Republican Army member who has lived for 25 years in California is facing possible deportation. "Pol Brennan, convicted [IRA] member . . . and escapee from a notorious prison outside Belfast, was nabbed with an expired work permit . . . in January.  He has been detained ever since, awaiting a hearing Wednesday and Thursday on whether he'll finally earn legal residency or be deported to Northern Ireland, where his wife says he'll face retaliation."


November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

High-Skilled Immigrants in the Rustbelt

From Richard Hermann:

Talent attraction is one of the quickest and lowest-cost avenues to building a rich, tech entrepreneurial ecosystem. To help inform the discussion on the need to prioritize regional economic development initiatives in Northeast Ohio and the Midwest around the attraction/retention of high-tech, mobile immigrant talent, please see the recent studies.

1.)  "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?" (September 2008):  Hunt, Jennifer and Gauthier-Loiselle(September 2008). NBER Working Paper No. W14312 " We measure the extent to which skilled immigrants increase innovation in the United States by exploring individual patenting behavior as well as state-level determinants of patenting. The 2003 National Survey of College Graduates shows that immigrants patent at double the native rate, and that this is entirely accounted for by their disproportionately holding degrees in science and engineering.....we show that natives are not crowded out by immigrants, and that immigrants do have positive spill-overs, resulting in an increase in patents per capita of about 15% in response to a one percentage point increase in immigrant college graduates."

2.) "Looking Ahead:  Opportunities and Challenges for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Owners," October, 2008, Dr. Chad Moutry, Chief Economist, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration: "there is a strong connection between immigration and high-technology entrepreneurship, suggesting that Americans should embrace the influx of new citizens"

3.)   Wadhwa, Vivek, Saxenian, AnnaLee, Rissing, Ben and Gereffi, Gary,Skilled Immigration and Economic Growth(2008). Applied Research in Economic Development, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 6-14, 2008 "Skilled immigrants have achieved great success in founding U.S. engineering and technology startups, which have in turn contributed greatly to the country's economic growth over time. In this work we explore the educational attainment and career trajectories of these immigrant entrepreneurs....To maintain and grow the U.S. entrepreneurial landscape, future policy endeavors may target means of attracting and retaining innovative, highly skilled foreign minds."


November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Correction: Arizona High Court Asked but Has Not Yet Decided to Ban term "illegal Alien" from Courtroom

The media report that the term had been banned, click here. was wrong. I apologize for the earlier posting.

Car Gerchick, communications director for the court said "Those words have not been banned from Arizona courtrooms."

"A letter was sent in from an organization, a local legal organization, asking a court to essentially ban the use of those words."

Gerchick said Chief Justice Ruth McGregor's responded to the group, identified as Los Abogados, and told them she would share the request with the legal community and that no decision has been made.

"Under no circumstances did the Chief Justice McGregor ban any words."


November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Internet Legend: Obama Born in Kenya, Not U.S. Citizen

ObamabarackElection 2008 is in the books.   Still, rumors and innuendo about Senator Obama persist on the internet. For a story (that would be amusing if it was not so serious) that he is not a U.S. citizen but in fact was born in Kenya, click here.

See Fight the Smears for a response and a copy of Senator Obama's birth certificate.


November 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Live Like a Refugee

A report from

"A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City" is a temporary exhibit (in San Diego this weekend), traveling the world. Call it a crash course in latrine life, food and water rationing, cholera outbreaks, and the possibility of attack by rebels, soldiers or even a host government. But you get to go back to the comforts of your mattress and box spring at the end of the day (the exhibit closes at 5:30 p.m. each day), unlike refugees escaping violence or natural disaster in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Congo, Chad, Sudan, Palestine, Somalia, Myanmar, Burundi and beyond. Click here for the full post with links.


November 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Seattle Exhibition on Cambodian Deportations

From Jay Stansell and Many Uch, et al:

The Wing Luke Asian American Museum in Seattle, Washington is creating an exhibition about the impacts of deportation to immigrant and refugee communities.  The exhibition opens on February 6, 2009 and runs through October 18, 2009. The exhibition will highlight the experiences of Cambodian refugees deported to Cambodia and the effects on their families, but the fundamental goal is to make the connection among people from all nationalities and their families who have been affected by U.S. laws on deportation.  We are looking for materials to use in this exhibition, preferably with items identified by November 15, 2008.

Part of the exhibition will include a running video screen of pictures of people who have been deported from the U.S. and their families.  We are looking for previously published photos that can be loaned or shared for this use.  We hope to have photos of people of all nationalities, ages, gender, etc. in order to emphasize the universal impacts of deportation policies.

We are also looking for family stories of Cambodians affected by deportation.  We can use previously published work, or we can do new oral histories with families that are willing to tell their stories.

Items would be on loan to the Museum; we can either scan photos and documents to reproduce in the exhibition or return the materials at the end of the exhibition.  We also hope to have the exhibition travel to other cities at the end of its time in Seattle in October 2009.  If you have materials, ideas, or might be willing to host this exhibition, please contact Cassie Chinn at<>.


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