Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Jersey Court Grants Remedy to Immigrant ill-advised about the Immigration Consequences of his Criminal Pleas

The New Jersey Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision to deport Jose Nunez-Valdez of Camden, who argued he did not realize deportation was one of the stipulations to pleading guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.  For the full story, click here.

ra

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NEW AMERICANS IN THE KEYSTONE STATE: Pennsylvania's Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a Political and Economic Powerhouse

The Immigration Policy Center (Download New%20Americans%20in%20the%20Keystone%20State[1]) has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians not only wield political power in Pennsylvania, but are an integral part of the state's economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As voters, they are a growing political force. Yet anti-immigrant groups are exaggerating the alleged fiscal "costs" imposed by unauthorized immigrants, and are completely discounting the many economic benefits which immigrants, Latinos, and Asians bring to the Keystone State.

Highlights of the research include:

• Immigrants make up about 5.4% of Pennsylvania's total population, and half of them are naturalized citizens who are eligible to vote.

• New Americans (naturalized U.S. citizens and their U.S.-born children) represent 5.2% of registered voters. • The purchasing power of Pennsylvania's Latinos and Asians totaled $22.6 billion in 2008.

• Businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $8.2 billion and employed nearly 53,000 people in 2002 (the last year for which data is available).

• If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Pennsylvania, the state would lose $5.3 billion in expenditures, $2.3 billion in economic output, and about 27,000 jobs. There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make and the important role they play in Pennsylvania's political and economic future. Pennsylvania's budget deficit was not created by immigrants and it won't be filled by attacking them.

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

FAIR Challenged in its Findings on the Cost of Immigration in Pennsylvania

In response to a report published by FAIR about the economic burden of undocumented immigrants on Pennsylvania taxpayers, the Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that "immigrants, Latinos, and Asians not only wield political power in Pennsylvania, but are an integral part of the state's economy and tax base."  For the full findings, click here.

ra

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Cert Petition Filed to Challenge Arizona's Employer Sanctions Law

QUESTIONS PRESENTED

1. Whether an Arizona statute that imposes sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized aliens is

invalid under a federal statute that expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens.” 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(h)(2).

2. Whether the Arizona statute, which requires all employers to participate in a federal electronic employment verification system, is preempted by a federal law that specifically makes that system voluntary.8 U.S.C. § 1324a note.

3. Whether the Arizona statute is impliedly preempted because it undermines the “comprehensive scheme” that Congress created to regulate the employment of aliens.

Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc.

v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137, 147 (2002).

 

For a copy of the full cert. petition, click here.

ra

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Pat Turner on the "Birthers," Lou Dobbs' New Hobby Horse

160px-ObamaBarack Here is Intelligent Talk Radio segment on "The Birthers Movement," which claims that President Obama is not a "natural born citizen" and thus is not elgible to be President of the United States.  This movement even has its own websitePatricia Turner, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies at UC Davis studies rumors and shares her expertise about these disturbing Pat-turner fabrications.

On a related note, the Southern Poverty Law Center has called for CNN to fire Lou Dobbs, who recently has given credence to the conspiracy theories of the birthers movement.   "Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda," wrote SPLC President Richard Cohen. "It's time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from
the airwaves."  Lou Dobbs long has been advocating strict immigration controls and has propagated myths -- such as that Mexican immigrants spread leprosy, swine flu, etc. -- about immigrants.

Dobbs 

UPDATE:  Peter Spiro (Temple) seriously addresses the "birther" movement in thisop/ed.

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

IMMIGRANT DETAINEE RIGHTS ARE ROUTINELY, SYSTEMATICALLY VIOLATED, NEW REPORT FINDS "A Broken System" is based on 18,000 Pages of Previously Confidential ICE, ABA, and UNHCR Reviews of Detention Centers

Denied access to loved ones, lawyers and basic necessities, the fundamental rights of the men and women within the nation's immigration detention system are routinely and systematically violated, according to a new report released today by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the ACLU of Southern California, and the international law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP.

The first nationwide comprehensive report of its kind, "A Broken System: Confidential Reports Reveal Failures in U.S. Detention Centers," sheds new light on the conditions suffered by hundreds of thousands of people housed in detention centers around the country, and offers policymakers specific recommendations to ameliorate the situation.

Though Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claims to conduct a formal review of each detention facility on a yearly basis, "A Broken System" shows that such reviews carry little enforcement weight, as many of the detention facilities fail to rectify problems identified by ICE's own inspectors. Even more troubling, the inadequacy of the ICE reviews is demonstrated when they are compared with independent reviews by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of the same facilities, which often found a greater number and more severe violations in detention centers than was reported by ICE. For instance, the ABA and UNHCR reviewers found detainees were retaliated or punished more severely than allowed for minor disciplinary infractions. ICE reviewers, on the other hand, overlooked these serious violations.

The findings from "A Broken System" are particularly timely, as they are released in the wake of a DHS decision to reject the long-standing request of NGOs and the ABA to promulgate regulations that would require immigration detention facilities to adhere to basic standards of care. This agency statement responds to a petition for rulemaking submitted in January 2007 by dozens of immigrant detainees and advocacy groups in the wake of public reports detailing the humanitarian crisis in the facilities. The report highlights the importance of having independent monitors of detention centers. In the Kenosha County Detention Center, for example, a UNHCR report found that while men were allowed two daily hours of recreation, women housed in the same facility were denied recreation rights. The following year, ICE inspectors rated that same facility "acceptable," despite the fact that women were still being denied access to recreation facilities.

"A Broken System" is based on an analysis of hundreds of ICE, ABA and UNHCR detention facility review reports from 2001 through 2005. The reports, which had been withheld from the public, were obtained through discovery in litigation. Although the report is the most comprehensive analysis of its kind, the government withheld a significant number of documents it was ordered to produce. As a result, the violations outlined in the report represent only a fraction of the number of violations that actually occurred but could not be documented.

The recommendations put forth by the report are based upon thousands of hours of research and analysis of the detention center reviews. Key among them is the proposal that the ICE revise its standards for immigration detention to make them judicially enforceable. The report also determines that given the gross abuses, further expansion of the immigrant detention system should be stopped, and more use should be made of humane alternatives to detention.

The findings from "A Broken System" are particularly timely, as they are released in the wake of a DHS decision to reject the long-standing request of NGOs and the ABA to promulgate regulations that would require immigration detention facilities to adhere to basic standards of care. This agency statement responds to a petition for rulemaking submitted in January 2007 by dozens of immigrant detainees and advocacy groups in the wake of public reports detailing the humanitarian crisis in the facilities. The name of the case involved in the petition is Families for Freedom v. Napolitano, No. 08-CIV-4056 (DC).

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sign on Home: Hispanics Keep Out!

A "Hispanics Keep Out" sign displayed on the front of an Azle, Texas home in a racially-mixed neighborhood has stirred controversy.  for the news story, click here.  When reporters told her of how the sign upset some people, the 72-year old occupant of the home said she was upset by "them" coming here "illegally."

Hat tip to Dan Kowalski!

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

O'Malley Decries Cuts to Immigrant Health Programs

From Michael Paulsen at Boston.com:

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, is expressing opposition to a possible cut to state-subsidized health insurance coverage for some legal immigrants.

Here's the relevant portion of his most recent blog entry:

"As I do upon occasion, before I get to the events of my week, I would like to comment on an issue that is of great importance to me.
The Governor and the Legislature in the commonwealth face excruciatingly difficult choices this week. Final decisions about the budget bring together the fact of an economy in deep recession, declining state revenues and multiple human needs among the citizens of the commonwealth. Those human needs — for nutrition, housing and health care — must be a high priority for the Church and its ministry.

Our agencies — Catholic Charities, the Caritas Health Care System and the Office of Planning and Urban Affairs — are stretched to the limit these days, but that is the work we should be doing.

A particular issue of concern to me is the possibility that funding for health coverage for 28,000 legal immigrants may be cut in whole or in part. The Church, through Catholic Charities and through our parishes, is in direct and regular service of the immigrant community.

My hope and my request is that a way can be found to sustain health coverage for these legal members of our community. Their resources are few and their support system is always stretched thin. The commonwealth has done a very commendable job of providing health care to the citizens of Massachusetts. It would be a tragic mistake to let these 28,000 members of our community lose access to the precious good of health care."

bh

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Napolitano Will Face Protestors in NYC Tomorrow

Obama’s Homeland Security Chief to Face Protest Over Immigration Policies in New York

WHAT: 

When Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano comes to New York to give a speech on Wednesday, New Yorkers will be picketing and holding a news conference outside to criticize the Obama administration’s embrace and expansion of ineffective Bush-era immigration enforcement policies. 

Secretary Napolitano recently announced the expansion of a program known as 287(g), which enlists local police to act as immigration agents.  Many police chiefs say the program is counterproductive, however, undermining community policing efforts and setting the stage for rampant racial profiling. 

Napolitano also is continuing the use of the deeply flawed e-Verify database to check people’s work eligibility, even though the database is full of errors that could cause citizens and legal residents to lose their jobs. 

The embrace of these immigration enforcement programs started under the Bush administration is viewed as a direct contradiction to President Obama’s promises to deliver immigration reform.  It has left many in immigrant communities wondering if “change” really means “more of the same.”

WHEN: 
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
-       Press conference @ 10am
-       Picketing from 8:30 to 10am
WHERE:
68TH Street and Park Avenue, Manhattan
(Northeast corner, across from the Council on Foreign Relations)

WHO:
Immigrant community leaders, members, and supporters, including:

-       American Friends Service Committee
-       La Union de la Comunidad Latina
-       Make the Road New York
-       New Immigrant Community Empowerment
-       New York Civil Liberties Union
-       New York Immigration Coalition
-       Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights

Interviews will be available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. 

CONTACT:
Norman Eng, NYIC
212-627-2227 x235 (o)
917-622-1606 (m)

bh

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Two Books: Daily Life in Immigrant America

In September, two new interesting immigration history books will be released:

ShowImage Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1870 James M. Bergquist 

Early nineteenth century America saw the first wave of post-Independence immigration. Germans, Irish, Englishmen, Scandinavians, and even Chinese on the west coast began to arrive in significant numbers, profoundly impacting national developments like westward expansion, urban growth, industrialization, city and national politics, and the Civil War. This volume explores the early immigrants' experience, detailing where they came from, what their journey to America was like, where they entered their new nation, and where they eventually settled. Life in immigrant communities is examined, particularly those areas of life unsettled by the clash of cultures and adjustment to a new society. Immigrant contributions to American society are also highlighted, as are the battles fought to gain wider acceptance by mainstream culture. Engaging narrative chapters explore the experience from the viewpoint of the individua, the catalysts for leaving one's homeland, new immigrant settlements and the differences among them, social, religious, and familial structures within the immigrant communities, and the effects of the Civil War and the beginning of the new immigrant wave of the 1870s. Images and a selected bibliography supplement this thorough reference source, making it ideal for students of American history and culture.

ShowImage2 Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1870-1920 June Granatir Alexander

The second wave of US immigration—from 1870 to 1920—brought over twenty-six million men, women, and children onto American shores. This in-depth study of the period underscores the diversity of peoples who came to the U.S. and highlights the significant shifts in geographic origins—from northern and western Europe to southern and eastern Europe—that occurred in the late nineteenth century and led to distinguishing between old and new immigrants. Thematic chapters provide an overview of the daily lives of these migrants, including distribution and settlement patterns, individual and family migrations, and permanent and temporary residency. Also discussed are demographics and characteristics of each ethnic group, as well as pressures to Americanize and other facets of adjusting to a new country and culture. An ideal source for students of American history and culture, this comprehensive work features over 40 engaging photos, a glossary of key terms, a chronology of events, and an extensive print and nonprint bibliography.

See also here and here

and

here and here.

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Cert Petition Filed in Arizona Employer Sanctions Case

A group of petitioners led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a virtual who's who of law firms and organizations (including Sidley & Austin, Alschuler berzon, MALDEF, the National Immigration law Center, and the ACLU) filed a petition for cert in the Arizona employer sanctions case, which the Ninth Circuit upheld last year.  Here are the Questions Presented:

1. Whether an Arizona statute that imposes sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized aliens is invalid under a federal statute that expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens.” 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(h)(2).

2. Whether the Arizona statute, which requires all employers to participate in a federal electronic employment verification system, is preempted by a federal law that specifically makes that system voluntary. 8 U.S.C. § 1324a note.

3. Whether the Arizona statute is impliedly preempted because it undermines the “comprehensive scheme” that Congress created to regulate the employment of aliens. Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137, 147 (2002).

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Chantal Thomas on Globalization and Migration: The Case of Mexico

Thomas-Chantal Here is a new article from the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com) that is worth a look:

"Migration and Social Regionalism: Labour Migration as an Unintended Consequence of Globalization in Mexico, 1980-2000CHANTAL THOMAS, Cornell Law School 

Abstract:  Increased labor migration from Mexico to the United States between 1980 and 2000 stemmed in large part from macroeconomic policy reforms, implemented at the domestic and international levels, that we now associate with economic "globalization." These reforms were ushered in by the era of "deep economic integration" - the period beginning in the early 1980s in which domestic economic crises in many developing countries, including Mexico, set the stage for market liberalization supported by the advice and counsel of the Bretton Woods institutions. For Mexico, the adoption of the NAFTA played a central role in effecting market liberalization and setting the stage for labor migration. Far from being the sole factor, however, the NAFTA interacted with a host of other important reforms in Mexico's investment, fiscal, and exchange rate regimes. And while conventional economic theory might have predicted that market liberalization would substitute migration, events as they actually unfolded proved migration and liberalization to be complements rather than substitutes. By demonstrating the link between migration and economic liberalization across the Mexico - U.S. border, this chapter emphasizes the importance of understanding the connections between trade and labor in both scholarship and practice, and as such seeks to support emerging, interdisciplinary labor law and policy discourse. Too often, these fields have remained separated despite their overlapping analytical and empirical parameters. Beyond specialized scholarship and practice, however, the chapter seeks to comment on broader political debates over the sensitive topic of immigration. These debates too often portray migration influxes as exogenous phenomena, as opposed to effects of law and policy choices made by government actors in trade, investment, and related areas.

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NJ Supreme Court on Ineffective Assistance in Criminal Case with Immigration Consequences

The New Jersey Supreme Court in State v. Nunez-Valdez held that a defense attorney provides ineffective assistance of counsel when he provides false or inaccurate information related to the immigration consequences of a guilty plea in a criminal case. The defendant in the case had pled guilty to a sex crime. His attorney had advised him that the plea would not affect his immigration status. In fact, deportation for this criminal offense was mandatory and U.S. immigration officials sought to deport the defendant. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that under the state constitution, a defendant who has been misinformed on the immigration impacst of a guilty plea may successfully argue that his guilty plea be vacated as a result of ineffective assistance of counsel. A similar issue is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Padilla v. Kentucky, cert. granted 129 S. Ct. 1317.

Here is the New Jersey Supreme Court decision.  Download State v. Nunez-Valdez

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NEW AMERICANS IN THE BUCKEYE STATE: Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are Critical to Ohio's Future

The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that Ohio's immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an integral part of the state's economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As Ohio's economy begins to recover, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in the shaping and growing the economic and political landscape of the Buckeye State.

Highlights of the research include:

Immigrants make up nearly 4% of Ohio's total population and nearly half of them are naturalized citizens who are eligible to vote. New Americans (naturalized U.S. citizens and their U.S.-born children) represent 2.4% of the state's voting population.

The purchasing power of Ohio's Asians totaled $7.1 billion and Latino buying power totaled $6.1 billion in 2008.

Asian-owned businesses in the state generated sales and receipts worth more than $5.1 billion annually and Latino-owned businesses generated $1.3 billion in 2002.

There is no denying the contributions immigrants make and the important role they play in Ohio's political and economic future. For more data on the contributions of immigrants to Ohio's economy, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

The IPC also hascompiled  research about immigrant contributions in other states:

New Americans in the Great Lakes State (Michigan)

New Americans in the Old Dominion State (Virginia)

New Americans in the Tar Heel State (North Carolina) New Americans in the Sunshine State (Florida)

New Americans in the Empire State (New York)

New Americans in the Silver State (Nevada) New Americans in the Golden State (California)

New Americans in the Prairie State (Illinois)

KJ

July 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arpaio arrests 72 more immigrants

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio  arrested 72 more immigrants during a three-day sweep that began Thursday.  Click here for that story.  This approach to local law enforcement of immigration laws violates the federal governments new directive,under which local police are to target only persons who are charged with a crime or have a criminal history.  For a description of the new directive, see the DHS press release.

ra

July 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

E-Verify Use Increases

USCIS reported to a Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement at a hearing titled “E-Verify: Challenges and Opportunities that a new USCIS study shows that E-Verify is now being used to determine work authorization for 1 in 4 new hires. The number of queries so far in 2009 is about 6 million and is expected to be 12.3 million for the entire year, a significant jump from 2008 and 2007.

For the full story, click here.

ra

July 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New H1B Procedures Slowing Down Process

Immigration attorneys are reporting that stricter documentation and other requirements for the graning of H1B visas is significantly slowing down the process.  For the full story, click here.

ra

July 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Administration's Immigration Enforcement Priorities

The Los Angeles Times reported on Obama's immigration enforcement priorities as led principally by DHS Secratary Janet Napolitano.  As expected, these focus on targeting immigrants with criminal records and employers who hire the undocumented.

These are:

* New guidelines directing immigration agents to target employers who hire illegal immigrants rather than simply arresting undocumented employees.

* A requirement that all local police agencies deputized to check immigration status and turn criminals over for possible deportation sign new agreements pledging to focus on those who pose a risk to public safety.

* The implementation of a rule that requires federal contractors to use E-Verify, an online employment-verification program.

* The expansion of a program that uses government databases during the booking process to find illegal immigrants in the nation's jails.  

The LA Times Story is found by clicking here.


The New York Times also recently reported on Obama's Jail-based deportation program, which has been heavily criticized by those who favor as well as those who oppose stricter immigration enforcement. For that story, click here.

ra

July 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Napolitano to Look at Detention Conditions

Anna Gorman of the LA Times reports that DHS will be looking closely at detention conditions:

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to address immigration detention next. Administration officials said top experts are looking at all detention facilities, private and public, to see whether they are efficiently, safely and effectively operated. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the detention centers, has been heavily criticized for providing inadequate medical care and for violating detainees' due process.

"It's safe to say that we are going to look pretty seriously at the results and no doubt make some changes," said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak about the changes. Click here for the entire story.

bh

July 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Why are U.S.-allied refugees still branded as 'terrorists?'

The preclusion of refugees, asylum-seekers, and other noncitizens seeking admission to the United States on grounds that they are "terrorists" has, not surprisingly, gone up significantly since the various measures put into place by the U.S. government after September 11, 2001.  This news story focuses on the classification as "terrorists" of Iraqis who opposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

KJ

July 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)