Saturday, October 17, 2009
From Mary Ann Zehr of Education Week:
Canada's Calgary Public Library runs after-school clubs in several locations to assist children from immigrant families with their homework. In the Netherlands, the Witte Tulp Foundation provides intensive training to prepare immigrant youths for the nation's high-stakes exam. The YMCA-YWCA of Canada runs a recreational program for immigrant youths designed to integrate them in to Canadian society and help them to cope with their new surroundings.
These are some of the projects supporting after-school activities mentioned in a report, "Pathways to Immigrant Opportunity," released this month by New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The report is written by Carola Suarez-Orozco and Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, co-directors of Immigration Studies at New York University. They are authors of the book, Learning a New Land, and have been studying the integration of immigrants into new societies, with a focus on education, for a very long time.
The on-line report provides links to many projects that help to integrate immigrant children and their parents into their new homelands. Readers of this blog will be familiar with many of the U.S.-based projects, such as the network of international high schools for ELLs in New York City. Click here for more.
From the Asian Law Caucus:
Practical Measure will increase public safety,
Heads to Full SF Board of Supervisors on Oct. 20th.
SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Immigrant Rights Defense Committee (SFIRDC) applauds the Board of Supervisor's Public Safety Committee for approving a policy change on Monday, October 5th that would ensure innocent youth are not unnecessarily separated from their families in San Francisco and referred to ICE. SFIRDC is a growing coalition of over 35 immigrant, youth, LGBT, workers' rights, and faith organizations dedicated to upholding fundamental human rights principles. "We believe that it is a moral imperative, and a public safety imperative, to restore due process rights to all youth in San Francisco. The current policy has ruined innocent lives and made immigrants fearful of reporting crimes to the police. We thank the Public Safety Committee for doing the right thing," said Angela Chan, staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, on behalf of the coalition.
The new policy, passed by the Public Safety Committee by a vote of 2 to 1, would restore due process rights to immigrant youth, who under the current city policy, are being turned over to immigration authorities based merely on an accusation of having committed a felony. The current policy deprives these children and teenagers of the basic right to a hearing regarding alleged charges.
In a packed room with hundreds of community members present, Supervisor David Campos urged Public Safety Committee members to support due process rights for immigrant youth just as they have stood in support of other important civil rights issues, including same sex marriage and universal health care. Supervisor Campos explained that San Francisco serves as a model for other cities throughout the country in advancing civil and human rights, and that "history will be on our side." Supervisors David Chiu and Ross Mirkarimi thanked the large coalition of organizations that have come together over the last year to advocate for the rights of immigrant youth and families, and both voted in support of the policy change. Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier declined to vote in support of the policy at the committee level, but stated that she could still potentially vote in support of the policy change at the full board.
Innocent youth referred for deportation. Offering a sobering reminder of the devastating consequences of the current "automatic referral for deportation" policy, Public Defender Jeff Adachi shared the story of one of many innocent youth who have been harmed. He explained that his office represented a 17-year-old youth who was charged with robbery, but "after a thorough investigation of the case, it was determined that he was innocent. The district attorney actually dismissed the case and declared in court that he was innocent. However, in that case, he was still deported; he was still referred to ICE." In addition to Adachi, Public Safety Committee members heard from over 50 speakers who were in support of the proposed amendment, including Board of Education Vice President Jane Kim, Board of Education Commissioner Sandra Fewer, and UC Davis Law Professor Bill Ong Hing.
Professor Bill Ong Hing, an expert in immigration law who fielded several questions from the Board of Supervisors, explained that the proposed policy is legally sound under federal and state law. Professor Hing stated, "I am 100% confident that the Sanctuary Ordinance and the new proposal is constitutional and legally viable. There is nothing in federal law that requires what the city and county currently does with juveniles. There is nothing in federal and state law that would nullify the action that is in the current proposal."
Leaders in the faith community also turned out in support of the due process policy, taking inspiration from their religious values. Craig Wong, a member of Grace Fellowship Church in the Mission District and a representative of the SF Interfaith Coalition on Immigration, declared, "We believe [the lord's] heart is reflected when we extend to all people . . . the due process of law, especially for vulnerable youth."
Jane Kim, Vice President of the Board of Education, testified about a resolution in support of the policy change that was unanimously passed by the Board of Education. Commissioner Kim remarked, "I know of students in our district who have been deported because of this policy. The current policy has created a lot of uncertainty in school and under reporting because principals and teachers are wary of reporting incidents to the police because they are not certain of the immigration status of their students and often are forced to make judgment calls on the seriousness of the incidents, the correct or misidentification of the students, and whether student witnesses can even talk and communicate with the police."
The current policy has sparked a firestorm of criticism from a growing alliance of immigrant and civil rights groups as it has led to increased discrimination against immigrant youth and their families. The "automatic referral for deportation" policy also has exacerbated fears in immigrant communities and deterred these residents from reporting crimes to the police, which in turn has undermined public safety for all.
The policy will now be voted on by the full Board of Supervisors on October 20th at 2PM at City Hall. Board of Supervisors on October 20th at 2PM at City Hall.
Friday, October 16, 2009
The Halloween season seems to bring out the crazies. See this ILLEGAL ALIEN costume from your friendly Target.
Recall that, two years ago, then-ICE head Julie Myers participated as a judge of a costume contest in which a tasteless -- and racist -- costume was praised. And Myers took a picture with the costume winner. Check the party pics out.
UPDATE According to press reports, Target received complaints from, among others, LULAC about the ILLEGAL ALIEN costume and promised to pull the on-line advertisement on Friday or Saturday. As of this update on early Saturday morning, the ad is still up, although the ad states that the costume is out of stock. The comments about the costume are worth a read.
Hattip to Pamela Wu for this story.
Daniel González of the Arizona Republic reports some not-too-surprising news: "Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio cited a non-existent federal law and included a legal interpretation taken from an anti-immigration Web site [the Federation for American federation reform (FAIR)] in a document he distributed during a news conference last week. Arpaio used the document to bolster his claim that he can continue to arrest undocumented immigrants during controversial crime sweeps even without a special agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
NOTE TO LAW SUDENTS: Remember to carefully do your cite-checking -- and watch your online sources. Sheriff Joe wishes he did!
What the heck? The L.A. Times reports that "The cancer-stricken father of Pfc. Janos V. Lutz, who is serving in Afghanistan, was arrested at his Florida home last week and is scheduled for deportation to his native Hungary."
No comment from this blogger.
Progress Illinois reports that "Rep. Luis Gutierrez is growing impatient over his colleagues' unwillingness to put immigration reform at the top of the congressional agenda this year. Calling "justice for immigrants today's civil rights struggle," the Chicago Democrat is preparing to push the issue by introducing a set of comprehensive reforms in Washington next month. Standing alongside immigrants rights advocates from 26 states, Gutierrez led a rally on Capitol Hill yesterday in which he outlined his plan. "We are here to say that we will not rest until the raids stop and our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers are no longer torn apart by the government of the United States of America," Gutierrez said."
The National Immigration Law Center website includes an analysis of Martinez vs. Regents of the University of California, a case before the California Supreme Court involving whether undocumented residents of California are entitled to in-state college tuition.
"Papers" is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. There are approximately 2 million undocumented children who were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people who were educated in American schools, hold American values, know only the U.S. as home and who, simply by turning 18, become "illegal" immigrants. 65,000 undocumented students graduate every year from high school without "papers" and the door to their future slams shut. It is against the law to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people.
here are some new immigration articles from teh Social Science Research netwoprk (www.ssrn.com):
"Imagining A More Humane Immigration Policy in the Age of Obama: The Use of Plenary Power to Halt the State Balkanization of Immigration Regulation" KRISTINA M. CAMPBELL, University of Denver Sturm College of Law. [BLOGGER'S NOTE: I look forward to reading everything that this former MALDEF attorney writes.] ABSTRACT: The first decade of the twenty-first century has been grim for immigrants to the United States - both legal and undocumented - and the lawyers and advocates who work on their behalf. Following the failure of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, states and municipalities have seen fit to take matters into their own hands and pass a patchwork of local ordinances, statutes, and ballot initiatives ostensibly designed to do what the federal government had failed to do - regulate the flow of immigration into their cities and towns. As the economy continues to spiral downward into what may very well be the next Great American depression, the impact of immigrants to the United States on our economy and the benefits and burdens of their presence continues to be the source of great debate. With the election of President Barack Obama - himself the son of an immigrant - immigrants’ rights advocates were hopeful that the new Administration would not only reject the enforcement-heavy immigration policy that dominated throughout George W. Bush’s Administration, but that a shift in immigration policy in the Obama Administration would also reflect a more just and humane approach toward immigrants and their legal and social integration into our society overall. However, with the installation of former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security, early indications are that the Obama Administration is embracing the immigration policies of the Bush Administration, with an emphasis on enforcement at the federal level and the continuing delegation of immigration regulation to state and local governments. This Article examines the possibilities for radical change in immigration policy that are presented to us as we close out the first decade of the twenty-first century and begin looking toward the next. Part I provides an overview of the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment across the United States in recent years through the passage of anti-immigrant laws, the increase in hate crimes toward immigrants and Latinos, and the enforcement-only immigration policies of the Bush Administration’s Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, in particular the 287(g) program. Part II examines how Latinos and immigrants’ rights advocates have worked to combat the growing anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment in the United States, both through litigation and other means, and how those challenges have had mixed results on both the legal and policy level. Part III discusses Congress’ plenary power to regulate immigration, and offers suggestions regarding how Congress and the Obama Administration can use immigration federalism in a meaningful way. By relying on the powers given to both Congress and the Executive to create and enforce a uniform system of immigration laws, the Obama Administration has the opportunity to stem the tide of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric by implementing policies and practices at the federal level to reform our broken system of immigration laws. In particular, the Obama Administration has the power and the ability to step in and halt the piecemeal enforcement of immigration on the state and federal level, thus putting an end to the “balkanization” of immigration law that has occurred at a rapid and frightening pace over the last several years. Finally, the Conclusion imagines what our nation would look like if our immigration laws embodied a respect for human dignity regardless of immigration status, and offers suggestions to Congress and the Executive regarding the moral and ethical dimensions that should be taken into consideration in the exercise of their plenary power to regulate immigration.
"Refugee Law and State Accountability for Violence Against Women: A Comparative Analysis of Legal Approaches to Recognizing Asylum Claims Based on Gender Persecution" Harvard Women's Law Journal, Forthcoming MELANIE RANDALL, Faculty of Law, UWO [BLOGGER'S NOTE: The proper state response to gender-based persecution continues to be investigated; comparative approaches often help analyze the issue.] ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the inter-relationship between gender persecution, refugee law and state responsibility for domestic and sexual violence in women’s lives. The focus is largely on the Canadian context with some comparative attention paid to U.S. and British legal approaches to fitting women’s asylum claims - particularly those claims based on gendered violence - into existing legal categories, the most important of which is the category of “particular social group.” An analysis of the existing statutory framework governing the admission of refugees into Canada, including the Guidelines issued on Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution, reveals the complex set of social and political issues surrounding Canada’s attempt to create legal spaces in which these claims can be accommodated. I examine two of these socio-legal issues. The first is the theoretically restrictive ways in which legal definitions of membership in a "particular social group" have created problems for women seeking asylum on the basis of gender persecution. Recent developments in U.K. jurisprudence on defining membership in a "particular social group" could productively inform Canadian law dealing with asylum claims based on gender persecution. I further argue that in order for the state to fulfill its commitment to a fair refugee determination system and to upholding gender equality, gender should be made an explicitly enumerated ground in the statutory definition of reasons for fearing persecution. Second, I analyse the Canadian state’s relationship to and accountability for the existence of gender persecution, particularly in the form of domestic and sexual violence perpetrated against its female citizenry. In particular, I examine the Canadian state’s own record on providing protection to its women citizens whose lives have been harmed by gendered violence, in order to throw into stark relief the paradoxical nature of the implicit assumption operating in many Western states that this problem has somehow been remedied at home. On this issue I expose the difficulties facing all states with regard to the pervasive problem of sexual violence in women’s lives, contradictions which complicate and challenge the “us/them” dichotomy implicitly underpinning the distinction between refugee-receiving and refugee-producing states.
"Crossing Over: Why Attorneys (and Judges) Should Not Be Able to Cross-Examine Witnesses Regarding Their Immigration Statuses for Impeachment Purposes" Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy, Forthcoming COLIN MILLER, John Marshall Law School. [BLOGGER'S NOTE: This is an issue of tremendous practical significance, especially given the criminalization of immigration and immigrants.] ABSTRACT: In two recent opinions, courts authorized the impeachment of witnesses through cross-examination regarding their immigration statuses. They allowed such impeachment pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 608(b), which only permits specific act impeachment if based upon acts that are directly probative of (un)truthfulness. This essay argues that immigration status is an improper subject for impeachment because it is most akin to trespassing, which is not an impeachable offense under Rule 608, and fundamentally dissimilar from the acts related to crimen falsi, which are generally the only impeachable offenses under the Rule. Moreover, even if immigration status were an impeachable offense under Rule 608, courts should foreclose immigration interrogation for impeachment purposes because of its capacity to divide and prejudice jurors and discourage illegal aliens from bringing legitimate lawsuits for fear of being deported. Finally, if an attorney seeks to impeach a witness based upon his immigration status or his alleged commission of some immigration-related crime, such as fraudulently obtaining documentation, the witness should be able to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.
"Competent Voices: Noncitizen Defendants and the Right to Know the Immigration Consequences of Plea Agreements" EVELYN HAYDEE CRUZ, Arizona State University - College of Law. [BLOGGER'S NOTE: This is an issue of tremendous practical importance and professor Cruz is an expert.] The article discusses the Sixth Amendment’s right to effective assistance of counsel in relation to the criminal prosecution of undocumented workers arrested at the 2009 Postville, Iowa immigration raids, and the pending Supreme Court case Padilla v. Kentucky. In the paper, the author advocates for members of the legal profession to be sensitive to the need to preserve the due process rights of vulnerable populations, such as noncitizens, who often distrust our criminal justice system. In particular, noncitizens without immigration status often carry a sense of guilt arising from their unlawful status, which affects their choices and interactions with the criminal courts. Also, the recent upsurge of immigration enforcement has led to an increased distrust of the U.S. justice system by immigrant communities in general. Therefore, a Supreme Court decision declaring that noncitizens have a right to meaningful representation will rebuild the trust of noncitizens in our legal institutions, while an opposite finding will demolish their trust. Similarly, the acknowledgement the primacy of immigration concerns in plea agreements should precipitate the modification of Rule 11(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures, a procedural change that will hopefully place us on a path that rebuilds noncitizen trust of the American criminal justice system.
"Landmarks: Soering's Legacy" Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol.1, No. 1, 2008 HEMME BATTJES, VU University Amsterdam AMSTERDAM LAW FORUM, Amsterdam Law Forum. [BLOGGER'S NOTE: A fascinating story!] ABSTRACT: The story of Soering (1989) seemed an unlikely candidate for the seminal case of the Strasbourg Court on refoulement. For two decades, the European Commission of Human Rights (a monitoring body whose decisions could be submitted for review to the Court) had held that Article 3 ECHR prohibits refoulement, i.e. expulsion if there is a real risk that the expellee will suffer illtreatment in the country of origin. Many of those cases were lodged by failed asylum seekers which might raise general sympathy more easily than Soering’s case - a brutal murderer. Young students at the University of Virginia, Jens Soering and Elizabeth Hayes fell in love in 1985. But Hayes’ parents vehemently opposed the relationship and in an escalated row in March 1986 with the young couple, they were stabbed to death with a knife. Jens Soering and Elizabeth Hayes fled to the United Kingdom, where Soering killed two metropolitan policemen. Upon arrest of the couple in 1987, the United States requested extradition of Soering and Hayes. The UK was willing to oblige. Elizabeth Hayes was surrendered, trialed, and sentenced to two times 45 years of imprisonment. The UK would happily have extradited Soering too, but he invoked Article 3 ECHR. Soering feared that in Virginia, he would be sentenced to death. The circumstances surrounding the trial, in particular the expected sojourn on “death row” where he would have to wait for the execution possibly for years, would necessarily cause much suffering and anguish. The Court accepted that this would constitute inhuman or degrading treatment as meant in Article 3. It also accepted that this consequence of the extradition could be ascribed to the United Kingdom. Hence, it adopted the Soering doctrine: “the decision by a Contracting State to extradite a fugitive may give rise to an issue under Article 3 […] where substantial grounds have been shown for believing that the person concerned, if extradited, faces a real risk of being subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the requesting country”. After the ruling, the United Kingdom got assurances from the United States that the death sentence would not be imposed. And upon extradition in 1990, Jens Soering was convicted to two life sentences. So in the end, all parties got what they wanted: Soering protection from death row, the UK the extradition and Virginia the trial. Maybe Soering was not such an unlikely candidate for the first judgment on refoulement, after all. The importance of the ruling in Soering for migration law in Europe is uncontestable. It has become generally accepted that in case of a real risk of inhuman treatment in the country of origin, Article 3 ECHR forbids expulsion. This holds true not only for extradition of alleged criminals like Soering, but also for expulsion of people seeking asylum in Europe. Recently, the EU Qualification Directive codified the prohibition of refoulement in a definition of persons eligible for asylum. As the first judgment wherein the Court adopted (or confirmed) this prohibition of refoulement coined by the European Commission on Human Rights, Soering merits a place in any historical overview on migration law in Europe. But the judgment provokes more than mere historical interest. It merits re-examination because in no later case, the Court elaborated in such detail why Article 3 ECHR applies to expulsion cases. Analysis of its reasoning furthermore reveals an approach to interpretation that, implicitly or explicitly, has extended and limited scope and content of asylum protection under the European Convention ever since.
"A Clinical Model for Bringing International Human Rights Home: Human Rights Reporting on Conditions of Immigrant Detention" Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Vol. 7, No. 649, Spring/Summer 2009 GWYNNE SKINNER, Willamette University - College of Law. [BLOGGER'S NOTE: There are some exciting things going on at Seattle U and this clinic is one of them.] ABSTRACT: This article describes the design of the Seattle University School of Law International Human Rights Clinic and the model the Clinic developed and used in preparing an international human rights report regarding the conditions of immigrant detention at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. The report continues to have a substantial impact on a very important human rights issue close to home-the treatment of both documented and undocumented immigrants. In addition, this article details why the project was chosen and how it was designed and developed. Finally, the article measures the project's pedagogical outcomes against accepted legal clinical pedagogi-cal principles.
NEW AMERICANS IN THE NORTH STAR STATE: Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an Economic and Political Powerhouse in Minnesota
The Immigration Policy Center continues its series on the economic benefits of immigration to the various states (which is especially appropriate given the restrictionist agitation in many states). It has compiled research that shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an essential part of Minnesota's economy and tax base. As workers, consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As the state works towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political landscape of the North Star State.
Highlights from Minnesota include:
• Immigrants make up nearly 7% of Minnesota's total population.
• More than 40% of immigrants in Minnesota are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. • Over 100,000 registered voters in Minnesota are New Americans.
• The purchasing power of Minnesota's Latinos totaled $4.4 billion and Asians totaled $5.3 billion in 2008. The purchasing power of Asian-Indians was $500 million, while that of Somalis was $164 million.
• If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Minnesota, the state would lose $4.4 billion in expenditures, $2.0 billion in economic output and approximately 24,299 jobs.
There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make and the important role they play in Minnesota's political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to Minnesota's economic and political future, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety. Download New%20Americans%20in%20the%20North%20Star%20State%202009
Staunch advocate for Haitian immigrants, Cheryl Little has this to say about detention: "This year, ICE is spending $2.6 billion of our tax dollars to detain and deport tens of thousands of such immigrants. Much of that would be better spent on alternatives to detention. For a fraction of the $100-a-day cost per detainee, ICE can release needlessly detained immigrants with little risk that they will flee. This is a more sensible way to manage, shrink and reform ICE's dysfunctional detention system."
I wish that DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was talking about detention in this way.
The Congressional Research Service has released a report "Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986" by Ruth Ellen Wasem, Specialist in Immigration Policy (August 25, 2009). Among other things, the report shows the upward trend in undocumented immigrants in the United States from 3.2 million in 1986 to 11.9 million in 2008.
The Boston Globe reports that anti-immigrant leader Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, had an invitation to speak at Harvard "rescinded following a student uproar over his aggressive position on immigration." He was to speak at a public interest and law onference for undergraduates.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I always have found it interesting how Dobbs tries to marginalize those who criticize his anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant rants: "some left wing ethnocentric interest groups are calling for my firing from CNN because I'm quote unquote a racist. I could obtain purity in a moment if I would just simply embrace open borders and sponsor illegal immigration." If he wanted to gain some modicum of respect from respectable immigration scholars and students, Dobbs might stop making erroneous claims about leprosy, H1NI, "criminal aliens," "those people", "illegals", "illegal aliens", etc.
Census 2010 has already causedquite a stir, with fears of undercounting Latinos a big concern in some quarters. Now, a proposal has been floated that would have big impacts on immigrant communities. "Two [U.S.] senators have proposed an amendment that would require the Census Bureau to ask if people are in the U.S. Illegally. The controversial amendment is headed to the Senate this week."
The N.Y.Times reports that "International roots characterized the fiction finalists for the National Book Awards, which were announced on Wednesday. Among the five finalists were Colum McCann, the Irish-born author of “Let the Great World Spin,” a novel about a sprawling cast of characters in 1970s New York City, Daniyal Mueenuddin, who was raised partly in Lahore, Pakistan, and currently lives on a farm in the Punjab region of Pakistan, for “In Other Rooms, Other Wonders,” and Marcel Theroux, who was born in Uganda and lives in London, for “Far North.”"
How might the United States address this trend? Maybe an extension of the border fence. :)
NPR reports on an important story of discrimination that has not gotten much press: "In Texas and across the Southwest, Hispanic farmers have been fighting the Agriculture Department for close to a decade. The farmers say the department's Farm Services Agency discriminated against them — denying or delaying loans, and refusing to investigate when they cried foul. The government settled a similar complaint brought by African-American farmers for $1 billion. And while the claims of discrimination and other factors are almost identical, the Hispanic farmers have gotten nothing." (emphasis added).
For civil procedure buffs, the story is especially interesting because an important part of the Department of Agriculture's refusal to settle with the Hispanic farmers as a group turns on the denial of class certification of the Hispanic farmers. see Garcia v. Johanns, 444 F.3d 625 (D.C. Cir. 2006), a decision of which they are seeking review in the U.S. Supreme Court; Black farmers had obtained certification of a class and the discrimination claims were resolved on a class-wide basis. Given the court decision not to certify the class, the U.S. government has taken the position that it will settle the claims individually but not as a whole.
Hattip to Rex Perschbacher!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Roberto Lovato on the Huffington Post highlights the contradiction of CNN's upcoming series "Latino in America" and Lou Dobb's nightly anti-Latino, anti-immigrant broadcasts on CNN.
And it is no answer to say that sweet Lou is married to a woman of Mexican ancestry!