September 12, 2009
Asylum Rights Victory in AustraliaFrom ABC Radio Australia:
Refugee advocates in Australia have won an eight year battle to allow some of the most vulnerable people who arrive in the country refugee protection - people who face the threat of torture, inhuman treatment or execution if returned to their own country. But they often don't meet any of the five grounds for declaring a person a refugee, including persecution because of race, religion or nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. Now, Australia will change that. Click here for the full story.
College Board Resources on Immigration
The College Board for many years published a print version of a Guide to State Residency, updated periodically. Recently, the project migrated to the College Board website, where it can be more easily accessed and updated. See the online Guide to State Residency, Understanding the Requirements for Each State, and Tips for Military Families.
Hat tip to Michael A Olivas.
September 11, 2009
Third Annual Asylum and Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition
UC Davis School of Law will host the Third Annual Asylum and Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition on February 6, 2010. This is the only immigration moot court competition on the west coast and the only asylum and refugee law competition in the nation. All arguments will take place at the Federal District Courthouse in Sacramento. Distinguished immigration judges and federal judges will sit on the semifinal and final round panels.
Breakthrough will be publicly launching its new campaign, “Restore Fairness” at where it will be asking our government to restore fairness and due process in immigration policy.
Watch our powerful video, "Restore Fairness," produced in partnership with 26 leading organizations, featuring interviews with Members of Congress, immigration judges, civil society leaders, and ordinary families affected by harsh immigration laws. Here’s the link. The campaign website has a video channel with additional immigration stories, a screening guide, a blog for voicing opinion, tools for contributing and sharing content, along with online resources to keep you up on the issue and key ways to take action.
People can take action in the campaign.
1. Tell Congress to restore fairness right now.
2. Become an ally by signing the pledge and get featured on the home page.
3. Sign up for updates so you can continue to take actions that support fair immigration.
4. Spread the word by announcing "Restore Fairness" to friends!
If you have any questions, please write to email@example.com
Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization and Mexican Migration
Dear Friends, I'm please to announce my forthcoming book, Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization and Mexican Migration, being published by Temple University Press. The thrust of the book is reflected in this essay that I wrote for New American Media a few months ago:
Obama Can Solve Illegal Immigration—Bail Out Mexico
The White House announcement that it will tackle comprehensive immigration reform this year is good news for the roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States and their supporters. However, if the package does not include at least the first steps toward helping Mexico improve its economy and infrastructure, undocumented Mexican migration will not be solved permanently.
As the White House was making its announcement on reforms, however, the Border Patrol reported increased migrant border deaths along the southern border, in spite of a decrease in arrests. In other words, migrants keep coming in spite of the militarization of the border and immigration raids. While Mexicans are not the only undocumented immigrants in the country, they make up almost 60 percent. To understand undocumented migration, we have to look beyond the simple explanation that many cross the border looking for work; we have to ask why they cannot find what they want in Mexico.
Comprehensive reform no doubt will include much-needed proposals for increased family and employment-based visas. Expanding those categories is necessary and will help reduce the pressure that leads to unauthorized border crossings. But at the end of the day, reducing the substantial flow across the southern border will require the expansion of the economy and job growth in Mexico, so that more Mexicans will be able to stay home. Obama recognized this a year ago when he stated: “To reduce illegal immigration, we also have to help Mexico develop its own economy, so that more Mexicans can live their dreams south of the border.”
In 1994, we were told that NAFTA would solve the undocumented problem because jobs would be created in Mexico. But NAFTA contributed to huge job losses in Mexico. Mexican corn farmers could not compete with heavily-subsidized U.S. corn farmers, and now Mexico imports most of its corn from the United States. Because of globalization, 100,000 jobs in Mexico’s domestic manufacturing sector were lost from 1993 to 2003.
Where do those out of work farm workers and manufacturing employees look for work? El Norte.
When the European Union experienced its own push to expand its ranks to include poorer nations, member countries faced similar concerns. Because membership includes the right to open labor migration for all nationals of EU countries, the wealthier countries worried that as soon as membership was granted, there would a flood of workers from poorer nations into the wealthier ones. Beginning with the 1973 EU enlargement to include Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, the British insisted on an approach to aid poorer regions. When Greece (1981), and Portugal and Spain (1986) were added, all three nations, as well as Ireland, received infusions of capital and assistance with institutional planning.
The approach worked. Their economies transformed, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, who were all emigrant-sending nations prior to EU membership, now are net immigrant-receiving nations. Today, only 2 percent of EU citizens look for work in other EU countries.
Likewise, the United States needs to consider the EU model and include investment – with close monitoring of that investment – in Mexico as part of comprehensive immigration reform. Reducing undocumented migration is in Mexico’s interest as well; the persistent loss of able-bodied workers needed to build its infrastructure and economy cannot be good for Mexico.
At the end of the day, economic investment in Mexico is what’s needed to solve the undocumented migration challenge.
Anti-Immigrant Zealot of the Day: Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Bill Hing wrote earlier in the week about "The Joe Wilson Spectacle." It is more than fair to say that, until this week, relatively few Americans had ever heard of Joe Wilson. But that has changed. For his nationally-televised anti-immigrant tirade against our first African American President (BTW, has anyone asked whether Wilson is a "birther" who contests the outcome of the Presidential election?), Wilson is our inaugural Anti-Immigrant Zealot of the Day.
It has been interesting to watch the changes over the week in the Wikipedia report on the incident. Here is the latest:
"Outburst during 2009 Presidential address
During President Obama's September 9, 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, in which he discussed health care reform, Wilson interrupted the President's address during a statement that the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (which specifically excludes illegal immigrants from coverage) would not include coverage for illegal immigrants. In a breach of decorum, Wilson interrupted by pointing and shouting, "You lie!", reflecting his view that the protections in the bill against illegal immigrants receiving benefits are too weak. After the session, members of Congress from both Republican and Democratic parties condemned the outburst, with John McCain saying it was "Totally disrespectful. No place for it in that setting or any other and he should apologize immediately." Later that night, Wilson's office issued an official statement saying, "This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility.” President Obama accepted Wilson's apology, saying, "I’m a big believer that we all make mistakes. He apologized quickly and without equivocation and I’m appreciative of that." Within 36 hours after the incident, Rob Miller, Wilson's anticipated upcoming opponent in the 2010 Congressional race had received over $700,000 in campaign contributions, more than the $614,487 Miller raised in the entire 2008 campaign cycle."
Daphne Evitar for the Washington Independent quips that "Perhaps Wilson believes that illegal immigrants ought not get emergency medical treatment, which is the only medical benefit they might qualify for — when they show up in a hospital on the verge of death, for example." she also notes that "Wilson’s last campaign was supported by the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC — a restrictionist group that supports deporting all illegal immigrants in the United States rather than offering any opportunities for legalization, or `amnesty.'" ALIPAC gives Wilson an “A” for opposing “amnesties and ‘guest worker’ programs for illegal aliens along with other rewards such as in-state tuition and driver licenses.” Finally, Wilson "has been writing op-eds spreading the rumor that Obama wants to install `death panels' to hasten the death of grandma."
The Washington Post has a report on whether undocumented immigrants would be covered by the health care reform proposal on the table. Robert Gittleson has a blog story about the Wilson speech, immigrants, and health care reform on Standing Firm.
The Need for Protections for the Mentally Disabled Facing Removal
Nina Bernstein of the New York Times reports on the case of an immigrant from China with a mental illness in removal proceedings. The article refers to a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for stronger protections to ensure due process for respondents with mental disabilities in removal proceedings. See Download July24HolderLetter
Hat tip to Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Director Center for Immigrants' Rights, Penn State Dickinson School of Law.
September 10, 2009
Migration Policy Institute Report: Can ICE Meet Its Immigration Detention Mandates?
The Migration Policy Institute today issued a report exploring whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is capable of meeting its legal and case management responsibilities in light of its use of information systems that may not be collecting all the data necessary for compliance with legal, detention management and humanitarian standards.
As an aside, whenever I hear the acronym ICE for Immigration & Customs Enforcement, I think of the character Iceman played by Val Kilmer in Top Gun, a hit film in the 1980s. I don't know why because Val was kind of cool in that role and I never think of ICE as in any way cool.
Wishnie: "[T]he Obama administration has continued many of the Bush administration programs and practices. And it’s no excuse to say Congress hasn’t acted, because we’re not talking about those things that require statutory reform. "
Faith Communities and Immigration Reform
Please join the Center for American Progress for a special presentation:Caring for our Neighbor
Faith Communities and Immigration Reform
September 22, 2009, 9:30am – 11:00am
Sally Steenland, Senior Policy Advisor for Faith and Progressive Policy
Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy
Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, Archbishop, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Reverend Luis Cortés Jr., President, Esperanza
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director and Counsel, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism
Reverend Dean Reed, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Stephenville, TX
As the immigration reform debate heats up in Washington, D.C., hundreds of faith communities across the country are showing a new, grassroots-led activism on behalf of undocumented workers and their families. From Greensboro to Dallas, Lancaster to Bellingham, people of faith are engaged in a wide range of activities and advocacy rooted in theological and moral ground.
A new report by the Center for American Progress documents these efforts, tying them together into an authentic grassroots national faith movement that is urging leaders in Washington to join their cause.
Please join our distinguished panel of faith leaders for an enlightening and provocative conversation on the pressing issue of immigration reform.
September 22, 2009, 9:30am – 11:00am
Space is extremely limited. RSVP required.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed.
Coffee will be served at 9:00am
Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center
RSVP to attend this event
For more information, call 202-682-1611.
The Joe Wilson Spectacle
From America's Voice:
Rep. Wilson’s Outburst Shows GOP Immigration Problem
Demonizing Immigrants is Helping to Make the GOP a Regional Party
Washington, DC – Last night, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) became a household name for his embarrassing outburst during the President’s speech on health care reform. By shouting “You lie!” when President Obama was explaining, yet again, that health care legislation would not provide free care to undocumented immigrants, Wilson also made it clear that the failed immigration wedge strategy Republicans have used during so many policy debates and so many elections is alive and well.
In the few hours after Wilson’s outburst, his 2010 opponent has raised over $200,000, and Wilson has been roundly criticized by fact checkers in the media and independent groups for his false claims.
Wilson’s tantrum also put the GOP back in the limelight to face a fast-growing and influential group of American voters – Latinos -- who have been deserting the GOP in record numbers because of its continued demonization of immigrant families. Already this year, Republicans have tried to use the illegal immigration bogeyman to derail progress on a number of issues, from SCHIP expansion to economic recovery, but have only succeeded in further marginalizing themselves with voters who want policymakers to solve tough problems, not politicize and pander.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst is not only a massive breach of decorum, but the latest example of how race-baiting and immigrant bashing have become standard fare for hard right elements of the Republican Party. What Wilson, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and other anti-immigration crusaders don’t seem to understand is that alienating Latino voters – the fastest growing group of new voters in the nation – is threatening to relegate the GOP to minority status for decades. By substituting anti-immigration outbursts for constructive dialogue and real solutions on any number of policy issues, the Wilson wing of the Party also threatens to drive away solution-hungry Independent voters in droves. It’s time for Republican leaders to recognize that the long-term national viability of the Party—and the interests of our country—require them to stop scapegoating immigrants and come to the table with real solutions -- on health care and yes, on immigration reform.”
[Note: Personally, I think Wilson should resign after becoming such an embarassing spectacle.]
Crimes Webinar for Arizona PractitionersCutting-Edge Crimes Issues Webinar for Arizona Practitioners
Tuesday, September 22, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm PDT
Presented by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
Co-sponsored by AILA Arizona Chapter
Kathy Brady, ILRC Senior Staff Attorney
Vikram K. Badrinath, The Law Offices Vikram K. Badrinath
Kara Hartzler, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP)
Angie Junck, ILRC Staff Attorney (Moderator)
Deadline to register: 9/18/09. Click here to register now
We invite Arizona immigration defense practitioners, both new and experienced, to a webinar on emerging issues in criminal and immigration law and their application to Arizona convictions and immigration proceedings. One of the key defense strategies in crim/imm cases is the “categorical approach,” often referred to as the rules governing divisible statutes and the record of conviction.
The webinar will explain selected defense tools based on the categorical approach, especially in light of Nijhawan v. Holder, 557 U.S. ___ (July 15, 2009). We will also teach defense strategies for convictions charged as crimes involving moral turpitude. This will be an interactive webinar, featuring a discussion between our panel of experts, with time for Q&A. We will discuss some advanced defense strategies, which we will provide text to review before the webinar.
Kathy Brady, ILRC Senior Staff Attorney
Her expertise includes the immigration consequences of criminal convictions; issues affecting immigrant children and mixed families; immigration consultant and consumer fraud; family immigration; and trial skills. She is the primary author of ILRC's Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit (formerly California Criminal Law and Immigration), and for many years was co-author of the section on defending noncitizens in the CEB manual, California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice. She is a co-author of the Arizona Quick Reference Guide to Immigration Consequences of Convictions, and also the author of the California Reference Guide. She is a co-founder of the Defending Immigrants Partnership and the Immigrant Justice Network. Kathy authored briefs in key Ninth Circuit cases on immigration and crimes, and argued Lujan-Armendariz v. Ashcroft. In 2007, she received the Carol King award for advocacy from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
Vikram K. Badrinath, The Law Offices Vikram K. Badrinath
Vikram practices immigration law in Tucson, with a focus towards deportation and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. He is a frequent speaker and writer on crimes and immigration, as well as other immigration law topics. He has served as a mentor for the American Immigration Lawyers Association since the program's inception, is on the Board of Supervising Attorneys for the Asylum Program of Southern Arizona, and received an award for his work as a participating attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's, BIA Pro Bono Project. He has argued important immigration cases before the Ninth Circuit, most recently writing the amicus brief on behalf of AILA in Estrada-Espinoza v. Mukasey, 525 F.3d 821, 822. (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc).
Kara Hartzler, Legal Director and Criminal Immigration Consultant at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP)
Kara is the author of What Will Happen to Me? A Guide for Immigrants in the Arizona Criminal Justice System and co-author of the Arizona Quick Reference Guide to Immigration Consequences of Convictions. In February 2008, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on the detention and deportation of U.S. citizens in ICE custody. Before coming to FIRRP, Kara worked at an asylum clinic on the U.S./Mexico border, with migrant farmworkers, at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, among indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and with human rights delegations to Iraq and El Salvador. See www.firrp.org.
Angie Junck, ILRC Staff Attorney
Part of Angie’s work at the ILRC focuses on the relationship between immigration and criminal law. She is a co-author of ILRC's publication, Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit, and the Arizona Quick Reference Guide to Immigration Consequences of Convictions. Her efforts to mitigate the difficult immigration consequences for criminal convictions of immigrants is at the core of the ILRC's Defending Immigrants Project, which assists public defenders and the Immigrant Justice Network, a project to build a movement to shift public perception of immigrants in the criminal justice system. Angie is a co-chair of the Detention Watch Network's Public Awareness Committee and is on the Advisory Board of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Prior to joining the ILRC, she worked on post-conviction relief for immigrants at the Law Offices of Norton Tooby and advocated on behalf of incarcerated survivors of domestic violence as the co-coordinator of Free Battered Women and a member of the Habeas Project.
Visit www.ilrc.org/seminars to see our entire training calendar.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is a web conference system that allows you to join ILRC trainings from the convenience of your own office via the telephone and internet. You simply dial a conference call number and click on a web link provided by the ILRC, and you will be able to learn by listening to the instructor’s lecture and watching the computer screen simultaneously.
Questions? Please contact Sai Suzuki, Marketing Coordinator, at 415-255-9499 Ext 789 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCIS Issues E-Verify Guidelines for Federal Contractors
September 9, 2009
Federal Contractors: Beware E-Verify!
As the Washington Post reports, "[b]eginning Tuesday, the federal government is requiring federal contractors to use the E-Verify system to check the immigration and citizenship status of the people they hire and assign to new federal contracts."
Report: Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers
A new report by the Center for Urban Economic Development, the National Employment Law Project, and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (Download 59719b5a36109ab7d8_5xm6bc9ap) paints a disturbing picture of the treatment to which those workers are subjected. Based on a survey last year of almost 4,400 low-wage employees in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the report describes workplaces in which violations of basic rights are the norm and where workers' attempts to complain are met with retribution.
For the Washington Post story on the report, click here.
Guest Blogger Hannah Watson: Top Web Resources for Labor and Immigration Law
Top Web Resources for Labor and Immigration Law
If you’re a small business owner and are faced with the decision of hiring an immigrant or are outsourcing work to an employee who would like to move to the United States, you need to consider all of the legal issues associated with employing non-U.S. citizens. Managing the paperwork for naturalized citizens, workers with green cards or visas, and workers who expect sponsorship is a tricky, tedious undertaking. Keep reading for top web resources that can help you understand labor and immigration law.
· The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO): The EEO clearly lists all of the laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against job applicants on this site, including discriminating on the basis of national origin, race and religion. (http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html)
· AllBusiness.com: This website for small business owners and human resources professionals offers up lots of advice and information about foreign labor, immigration, employment law and related issues. You can learn how to obtain H-1B Visas for your workers, consider guest worker systems, read immigration news and policy updates, and more. (http://www.allbusiness.com/government/government-bodies-offices/12329564-1.html)
· Business.gov Employment and Labor Laws: Business.gov lists many resources for understanding employment law, including hiring foreign workers, learning about immigration, and more. (http://www.business.gov/business-law/employment/)
· United States Department of Labor Hiring Issues: The DOL has an entire section devoted to sharing information about hiring foreign workers. Check this official site for direct laws and guidelines for working with non-U.S. citizens. (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/audience/foreign_workers.htm)
· National Immigration Law Center Employment Issues: On the NILC’s website, you’ll find a page for employment issues outlining immigrant rights, eligibility, protection status, taxpayer information, antidiscrimination protection, and plenty more. (http://www.nilc.org/immsemplymnt/index.htm)
· United States Department of Labor Hiring Foreign Workers: This page offers information about DOL labor certifications by industry, compensating foreign workers, visas and more. It’s also a good resource for finding sponsorship and other forms. (http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/hiring.cfm)
· Foreign Labor Certification: This page on the DOL site has all the forms employers need to hire and sponsor foreign workers for permanent, specialty and temporary work. (http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/) .
This post was contributed by Hannah Watson, who writes about the university online courses. She welcomes your feedback at HannahWatson84@ yahoo.com
Obama to Address Congressional Hispanic Caucus
While little action on immigration matters is expected to occur this week, advocates and policymakers interested in immigration reform should keep their eyes on next week. House and Senate conferees are expected by then to reach some critical decisions on a number of immigration policy matters that are in contention in the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the nation's leading immigration restrictionist organization, has organized a massive lobby week for next week. And President Obama, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) [both key to reform] are expected next week to make important remarks before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Policy Conference. Click here for the whole piece.
Support TPS for Undocumented Haitians
Rally in Support of Temporary Protected Status For Undocumented Haitians
Wed., Sept., 16, 2009
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Ronald V. Dellums Federal Bldg.
1301 Clay Street, Oakland
Urge President Obama to Grant
TPS to Haitian Immigrants!
Join with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Haiti Action Committee to support Haitians who are being denied safe haven in the U.S.
Storms and hurricanes in Haiti in 2008 left scores of people dead, an estimated one million families and children homeless, and destroyed local crops needed for food. Presently 70% of Haitians on the island are unemployed, while still others wait for relief and assistance. Not granting TPS and deporting Haitians aggravates the island's political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis.
Please come out and support the rights of Haitians! If you can’t come, you can still call.
v Step 1: Call 1-202-456-1111 to connect to the White House Comment Line. Call time:
Monday — Friday 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PDT, (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm EDT)
v Step 2: Ask the operator to convey your message to the President. Urge President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status to our Haitian brothers and sisters.
Gerald Lenoir, Director
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
PO Box 2528
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 849-9940 (office)
Alejandro Portes on Latin Immigrant Integration
Dividing or Converging?
Political Loyalties, Transnational Organizations, and the Incorporation of Latin American Immigrants in the United States
Lecture and Discussions with Alejandro Portes, Princeton University
Monday, September 21st at 4:00 PM
University of Southern California
Can immigrants become fully integrated if they remain dedicated to promoting the welfare of their home towns and counties? What does transnational political participation mean for commitment to civic life in the United States?
Alejandro Portes, one of the top immigration experts in the United States, co-founder and director of Princeton's Center for Migration and Development, and former President of the American Sociological Association, takes on these questions in his newest research. His work challenges the argument, offered most prominently by the late Samuel Huntington, that Latino immigrants are different than earlier immigrants and are not likely to be politically involved or incorporated due to resilient home country loyalties. Drawing on two unique data sets, Portes argues that this is a false dichotomy: while transnational ties are strong, leaders see no contradiction between doing this and pursuing full and successful integration into American society.
Portes brings a fresh perspective deeply rooted in careful empirical research. His work asks us to rethink what we mean by political integration, and raises important policy and organizing issues for a country poised for a renewed national discussion of comprehensive immigration.
Download the flyer by visiting http://csii.usc.edu.
To rsvp and for parking information contact email@example.com or call 213. 821.1325.
Sponsored by USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and co-sponsored by the California Community Foundation, and the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
SURVEY: SUPPORT FOR U.S. LEADERSHIP SKYROCKETS IN EUROPE
European support for U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy is quadruple the approval given to his predecessor, George W. Bush, according to a new survey released today by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). But people in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey were markedly less enthusiastic about Obama and the United States than were their West European counterparts. And Obama’s personal popularity has not bridged serious transatlantic differences over Afghanistan, Iran, and climate change. Transatlantic Trends 2009 (www.transatlantictrends.org) shows that three-in-four (77%) respondents in the European Union and Turkey support President Obama’s handling of international affairs compared to just one-in-five (19%) who approved of President Bush’s foreign policy in 2008. Click the link above for more details.