August 6, 2010
Dems Join "Enforcement Now, Enforcement Forever" Camp
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have released a Border Security Proposal which would provide $600 million in funding for various border security provisions. The bill was a counter to a different border security bill proposed by Republican Arizona Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain, which would have gleaned its funding from the 2009 economic stimulus. Read more on Immigration Impact.
Economic Impact of Local Immigration Regulation: First empirical analysis reveals a negative but small economic effect
As local anti-immigration laws have been enacted around the country, one critical dimension has been largely ignored: what is the economic impact of these laws? Are jurisdictions with them better off economically than those without them? In the paper “The Economic Impact of Local Immigration Regulation: an Empirical Analysis" (forthcoming Cardozo Law Review), Professors Huyen Pham and Pham Hoang Van examine the economic impact of local (city and county) immigration regulation. Approximately 150 such laws were enacted by cities and counties between 2005 and 2008. The laws take different forms - some authorize local police to enforce federal immigration laws, some restrict benefits like housing and employment to those with legal immigration status, and some require all government transactions to be conducted in English only. The authors applied statistical techniques to analyze two sets of data: a legal data set that they compiled of restrictive local immigration laws, and an economic data set of county employment patterns compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. The results of this empirical study, the first of its kind, show that the restrictive laws had a negative but small economic effect on the jurisdictions where they are enacted. Specifically, the authors find that these laws had a 1 to 2 percent negative effect on employment; for the average U.S. county, this translates to about 337 to 675 lost jobs (40 to 80 lost jobs for the median county). Consistent with the effect on employment, payroll was also negatively affected. This drop in employment includes both authorized and unauthorized workers. The authors also find that the laws reduced employment in some industries, such as the restaurant industry, while increasing employment in others, such as the grocery and liquor store industry. This suggests that affected workers may be switching jobs, rather than leaving a particular jurisdiction altogether. Because local immigration regulation has such profound policy impact, local governments considering the efficacy of these laws need to base their decisions on empirical evidence, not assumptions, about the laws' effect. This article provides crucial information for that decision making.
Huyen Pham is a professor of law at Texas Wesleyan School of Law; Pham Hoang Van is an associate professor of economics at Baylor University. Their paper: "The Economic Impact of Local Immigration Regulation: an Empirical Analysis," forthcoming in the Cardozo Law Review, is available on the SSRN database link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1653345. You may choose ‘download anonymously’ from the one-click download option to access the full paper without signing in to SSRN.
Senate Approves $600 Million for more Border Security
Jim Abrams writes for the Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Senate agreed Thursday to add $600 million to the effort to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants across the U.S. Mexican border.
The money would be used for such purposes as adding 1,500 new enforcement agents and deploying unpiloted aerial drones to improve border surveillance.
The voice vote to pass the emergency spending came in the final hours before the Senate leaves for its monthlong summer break. Its sponsor, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, said it would boost border spending 10 percent above 2010 levels.
President Barack Obama has urged Congress to come up with $600 million to reinforce border security, and, with Arizona's attempt to crack down on undocumented immigrants bringing national focus to the issue, both Republicans and Democrats have endorsed more robust border security spending.
The main stumbling block has been how to pay for the increased spending. Republicans sought to use unspent funds from the economic stimulus act, an idea rejected by Democrats.
The Democratic plan passed Thursday would boost fees assessed on foreign-based personnel companies that take advantage of U.S. visa programs, such as the H-1B visa program for temporary skilled workers, to bring foreign workers, mainly from India, into the United States.
The House last week passed similar legislation with $701 million in emergency money for border security. Click here for the rest of the story.
Friends: What astonishing figures for border security! Where's the tradeoff? Where's legalization? Where's the DREAM Act? Where's AgJobs? Where's waivers for rehabilitated longtime residents convicted of crimes?
More on the Proposed Abolition of Birthright Citizenship
Congressmen Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and I yesterday discussed the latest proposals to try to eliminate birthright citizenship on Southern California Public Radio. Expressing a minority view not even embraced by Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Bilbray contended that the 14th Amendment does not need to be amended to eliminate birthright citizenship but that Congress could do so by statute. Bilbray raised the specter of "birth tourism" as one reason for eliminating birthright citizenship. He also suggested that the 14th Amendment might be reinterpreted and intimated that the birthright citizenship rule embraced by the 14th Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court is some kind of "urban legend."
The discussion largely focused on the meaning of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
I must say that I was heartened by one of the comments on the discussion on the Southern California Public Radio website website:
"As the law professor explained, you are `subject to the jurisdiction' of the United States if you are present in it. So, even if you are undocumented and unauthorized, if you committ a crime, you are subject to jurisdiction of any of the states of the US and of the federal goverment. You will be arrested and prosecuted. If you commit a civil infringment, you can be sued, by anybody in US in US Courts and/or a state court. How hard is that for you to understand? This is actually a pretty easy concept. A government could hardly operate if people were present within its boundaries and `not subject to a jurisdiction.' You are obviously not a lawyer, because this is first day of class, of the first year, in any good law school. Basic. Basic. Basic."
Maybe there is hope!
On another note, it is no coincidence that the current emergence of the birthright citizenship issue comes after the latest skirmish over Arizona's SB 1070 in the federal court. Politicians, including Senator Graham and Congressmen Bilbray, are seeking to tap into the popular concerns with immigration by exacerbating fears of "birth tourism", "anchor babies", and the like, to go after birthright citizenship. As should be clear by now, the nation needs some kind of comprehensive immigration reform to really address immigration at the national level, provide meaningful solutions, and reduce the efforts to make political hay out of peoples' fears.
August 5, 2010
International Leaders Gathered to Applaud the Partial Injunction of Arizona’s SB 1070, and to Call for the United States to Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation
Washington, DC/Mexico/Guatemala – Yesterday, international leaders gathered on a bilingual telephonic press conference hosted by Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR). These leaders discussed the urgent need for the reform of our broken immigration system, and to voice approval of the the partial injunction of Arizona’s SB 1070. CfCIR hosted what was essentially a who’s who of prominent conservative and international leaders on their call, including the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, Juan Gutierrez - the National Secretary of the Guatemalan PAN Party, former Guatemalan President and current Guatemala City Mayor Alvaro Arzu, and also the co-authors of the book “Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion & Truth in the Immigration Debate” Jenny Hwang and Matt Soerens of World Relief, an international organization affiliated with the National Assaociation of Evagelicals (NAE).
Some of the highlights from the call:
Former President Vicente Fox: “Who better to explain the issue of migration as an asset than the United States, a nation that has been built by migrants. Everybody has a migration heritage… Since the very beginning of the independence movement, the principles of the American founding fathers have claimed equal opportunity for both immigrants and citizens. The immigrant spirit pushes for a better future, solutions, and better opportunities. Mexico is a very solid partner of the United States and of the state of Arizona. I admire and respect immigrants. They are an example of work ethnic, drive, and loyalty to the country that welcomes them, and they should be treated with dignity.”
National Secretary of the Guatemala PAN party Juan Gutierrez: “We should all be doing whatever we can to try to lead toward an immigration reform solution, so that the migrants can become legal and come home also, to visit their families, and to become more productive members of an assimilated society.”
Former President Arzu: “I am also an immigrant. My grandparents came from the old Soviet Union. Eventually they moved to Detroit, then moved again to Guatemala. So I also come from immigrants, and know very well this phenomenon, and appreciate and respect the life of the immigrant.”
Matt Soerens of World Relief: “As I engage in discussion with evangelical Christians throughout the United States, I’m finding that evangelicals—from the smallest churches to the largest, and across denominational, ethnic, and regional boundaries—are strongly supportive of the principles of comprehensive immigration reform. Local churches see the consequences of a dysfunctional immigration system everyday, and they’re calling on our legislators to stop the bickering and find common-sense solutions.”
Jenny Hwang of World Relief: “Evangelicals as they learn more about what is comprehensive immigration reform, are coming out in strong support of such sensible policies. There is also a moral urgency in supporting such reforms, as much of the church body is suffering, and our communities cannot wait any longer. We applaud Judge Bolton for issuing an injunction that would stop the most controversial parts of the new Arizona law from taking effect. The United States Congress and the Administration, once they start exerting the leadership needed to pass reform, will find the overwhelming support of the evangelical and faith communities in the process.”
Jindal Would Not Be a Citizen Under Graham's Proposal
Brian Montopoli writes for CBS News:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have in recent weeks suggested that Congress should reconsider so-called "birthright citizenship" - that is, the policy of granting U.S. citizenship to anyone born in the country, even if their parents are undocumented immigrants - provided under the 14th Amendment.
Critics of that position are now hitting back in part by invoking Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who they say would not have been born a citizen under the proposed change -- a claim his office is disputing. Click here for the rest of the story.
ICE Detention Reforms One Year Later: Little Impact
From the Detention Watch Network:
One year after ICE'S detention reform announcement, Some Progress Made, but Little Impact Felt on the Ground
On the first anniversary of an announcement that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, the enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)) would overhaul the nation's immigration detention system, reports show that for the nearly 400,000 immigrants ICE has detained this year, little has changed.
On August 6, 2009, in response to sharp criticism from advocacy groups, community organizations, and government officials, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton promised sweeping changes to improve detention conditions. According to Mr. Morton, the agency intended to take substantial steps to transform the sprawling patchwork of approximately 350 jails and prisons into a non-penal, "civil" detention system.
While the agency has taken unprecedented steps to address some of its failed policies, significant challenges remain. "Under ODPP Acting Director Phyllis Coven's leadership, we have seen a number of positive developments in the past year. However, we are concerned that they have yet to achieve meaningful impact in the lives of those detained. The reality is, under President Obama's Administration, more people are being detained and deported than under the Bush Administration, in a manner that fails to meet the United States' human rights obligations under international law. These practices are inconsistent with our nation's values and are not making our communities safer," said Andrea Black, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network.
Some of the steps ICE has taken toward achieving reform include last month's launch of an Online Detainee Locator System, a tool allowing, for the first time, families and attorneys to find loved ones and clients in ICE custody. In May, ICE piloted a risk assessment and custody classification tool, which will allow the agency to screen individuals to determine whether they should be released. Historically, ICE has routinely detained people that should have been released.
ICE has discontinued the detention of families and children at the T. Don Hutto Facility in Taylor, Texas, which received national attention when the facility's substandard conditions became the subject of lawsuits. Today, ICE uses the Hutto facility, which is privately owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), to detain only women. In May, Hutto came under scrutiny once again when allegations surfaced of a series of sexual assaults by a CCA guard against females detained there. "We were heartened that the Obama Administration ended family detention at Hutto and took on reforming the broader immigration detention system," said Rocío Villalobos, of Texans United for Families, a member organization of Detention Watch Network. "Today, the majority of women at Hutto are seeking refuge from violence in their home countries. This spring's sexual assault incidents show how detention subjects people to more violence, which deepens their trauma, rather than protects them from it."
ICE has also appointed "detention managers" to work in 42 facilities and hired experts in detention management and health care. However, their presence has meant little change for detained immigrants. For example, a detention manager was working at the Hutto facility at the time the sexual assaults occurred, calling into question the detention managers' ability to adequately oversee detention operations.
The Detention Watch Network, Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center, and the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, have compiled recent data from groups across the country to illustrate how ICE's reforms have affected detained immigrants. The groups expect to release a report evaluating ICE's progress in October 2010.
A snapshot of the reports reveals that human rights violations persist. In Florida, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center reported that gross deficiencies in the provision of medical care continue, as well as the unnecessary detention of individuals with serious medical conditions. For example, a woman at the Baker County Detention Center who had been detained for five years remained in custody despite her deteriorating health, which involved a heart catheter, ulcers, and lung and orthopedic problems.
Multiple reports were received of inappropriate treatment of detained immigrants with mental health issues, including one man that was placed in solitary confinement after he exhibited suicidal tendencies. In New Jersey, the Middlesex County Coalition for Immigrant Rights described only two working toilets for a dorm with a maximum capacity of 48 that held 60 men. Groups also report that individuals continue to be subjected to indefinite detention - in some cases for years.
To address these concerns, the Detention Watch Network has launched a campaign, "Dignity, Not Detention: Preserving Human Rights and Restoring Justice," to call for an end to detention expansion, the use of cost-saving alternatives, and the restoration of due process in the government's enforcement of immigration laws. For more information about DWN's Campaign, visit www.dignitynotdetention.org
August 4, 2010
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: U.S. deportation policy violates fundamental human rights
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights made public on August 02, 2010 its groundbreaking decision in the case Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz et al, v. United States. The Commission found that U.S. deportation policy violates fundamental human rights because it fails to consider evidence concerning the adverse impact of the destruction of families, the best interest of the children of deportees, and other humanitarian concerns. Download Final Report_CIDH_Wayne_Smith
Seton Hall Report: Ironbound Underground: Wage Theft and Workplace Violations Among Day Laborers in Newark's East Ward
Day laborers are among the most vulnerable workers in the U.S. labor force. Rather than enact laws that protect day laborers, a number of state and local governments in recent years have passed laws that have sought to make the lives of day laborers more difficult -- such as Arizona's SB 1070 that sought to prohibit in certain circumstances the solicitation of work on public streets. The Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall Law, directed by Professor Lori Nessel, just released a report on day laborers and wage theft in Newark, New Jersey. The report is entitled Ironbound Underground: Wage Theft and Workplace Violations Among Day Laborers in Newark's East Ward. (Here is the report in Spanish. Download DL Report Spanish). Bryan Lonegan and Anjana Malhotra authored the report, along with clinical law students Nicholas Norcia, Rafael Perez Jr. and Joshua Trojak. The New York Times did a nice write-up on the report.
The Ethnic Studies Police in Arizona
From Mary Ann Zehr of Education Week. She reports on how some courses may be scrutinized after being videotaped:
When I reported for a May 19 article for Education Week about the ethnic-studies controversy in Arizona, Abel Morado, the principal of Tucson High School, told me he didn't see the ethnic studies classes taught at his school as violating the new law, H.B. 2281, because they are open to any student. He contended they couldn't thus be deemed as designed for a particular ethnic group. [But Arizona's Superintendent of Public Schools is suspicious]. Click here for the rest of the column.
Happy 49th Birthday, Mr. President! One-Quarter of Americans are "Birthers"?
A CNN poll shows that a quarter of Americans have doubts about whether President Obama was born in the United States. Happy 49th Birthday, Mr. President!
Challenges to Birthright Citizenship are a Distraction
Bill Hing on Slate.com today:
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham last week proposed amending the Constitution to change the law that grants citizenship to the children of immigrants born in the United States. More specifically, he would change the language of the 14th Amendment to bar birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented parents. Graham's Senate Republican colleagues John McCain, Jon Kyl, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all agree that hearings should be held on the proposal. This effort is just the latest evidence of how insincere they are about supporting a meaningful attempt at immigration reform, opting instead for pointless political chest-thumping.
They cannot be serious about amending the 14th Amendment (which may explain why key Republicans are already backing away from the proposal). The Constitution can only be amended in two ways: The first is for a bill to pass both houses of Congress, by a two-thirds majority. Good luck with that, especially in this age of partisan politics. Once the bill has passed both houses, then it's on to the states for approval. Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment that must be ratified by three-fourths of states. Again, good luck.
The second method requires that a constitutional convention be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the states. Any amendments adopted would then be sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures. This route has never been taken, and there is concern in political science circles about just how such a convention would even be convened and the can of political worms it could open.
The last serious effort at a constitutional amendment was the Equal Rights Amendment. The proposal, intended to guarantee that equal rights under any federal, state, or local law could not be denied on account of gender, was passed by both houses of Congress in 1972. But only 35 of the required 38 states ratified the change. Thus, the amendment failed even after a controversial extension of the ratification period.
I seriously doubt that the American public has either the interest in, or the stomach for, a long, drawn-out constitutional debate about birthright citizenship. Polls show the public favors the anti-immigrant Arizona SB1070 but overwhelmingly supports legalization for undocumented immigrants as well. Apparently, the majority of the public is open to having a real conversation about immigration policy and solving the undocumented immigration challenge. This attack on U.S. born children—or, per the ugly moniker, "anchor babies"? That's just a distraction.
Click here for the rest of the piece.
He's Back: Lou Dobbs Defends Birthright Citizenship!
Just when you thought it was safe . . . . Returning from his public hiatus after an abrupt departure from CNN last November, Lou Dobbs has done a surprising turnabout. In the face of Senator Lindsay Graham floating the idea of a constitutional amendment to abolish birthright citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment, Dobbs opposes any changes to birthright citizenship. Pledging allegiance to the rule of law, Dobbs does not believe that "anchor babies" -- the term he uses in the interview -- should be denied citizenship.
The fact that the future of birthright citizenship is even being discussed is telling. However SB 1070 fares in the federal court challenges, it may well be that the Arizona law deeply impacts the national debate over immigration. The current fracas over birthright citizenship -- with the previous advocates for changing the rulei clearly outside the political mainstream -- reflects that change. The Arizona law, at least for now, appears to have mainstreamed immigration extremism.
VIrginia AG Opinion on Police Inquiries of Immigration Status
This, week, Virginia chimed in on the national debate over immigration when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II issued a legal opinion that authorizes -- but, unlike Arizona immigration law SB 1070, does not require if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that a person is undocumented -- law enforcement to check the immigration status of persons stopped by police officers for any reason. Previously, law enforcement officers in Virginia were required to investigate the legal status only of those who were arrested and jailed.
The AG opinion leaves open a number of questions, including whether a police officer may merely "inquire" about immigration status or whether the officer can go further and actually demand documentary proof of status.
The Virginia Attorney General also is challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform bill.
August 3, 2010
The (Un)Sexy Side of Immigration Reform
Philip E. Wolgin posted a new op-ed on the need for immigration visa reform on Huffington Post. It contends that, while there has been a lot of talk about border security and legalization, there has not been enough discussion about reforming the temporary and permanent visa categories. For a "common sense approach to immigration prolicy" by Daniel Costa, click here.
August 2, 2010
Mexican Immigrants: How Many Come? How Many Leave?
The Pew Hispanic Center reports that the flow of immigrants from Mexico to the United States has declined sharply since mid-decade, but there is no evidence of an increase during this period in the number of Mexican-born migrants returning home from the U.S., according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of government data from both countries. The Mexican-born population in the U.S., which had been growing earlier in the decade, was 11.5 million in early 2009. That figure is not significantly different from the 11.6 million Mexican immigrants in 2008 or the 11.2 million in 2007.
Ozzie Guillen: Baseball Translators for Japanese, but not Latino Players
From the Washington Post:
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen spoke his mind again Sunday...and this time he wasn't haranguing his players or umpires or any of the usual suspects.
He spoke about what he perceives to be a disadvantage for Spanish-speaking players in the Major League Baseball. Specifically, he cited the availability of translators for Japanese players.
"I say, why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don't have a Spanish one. I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we don't?" Guillen said Sunday. "Don't take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these privileges to them. We bring a Dominican kid ... go to the minor leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it's always going to be like that. It's never going to change. But that's the way it is."
Howard Bryant, ESPN columnist, NPR contributor, former Washington Post Redskins reporter and author of "The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron", thinks that Guillen has a point.
"Used to love Ozzie Guillen, now I looooove him," Bryant tweeted. "Japanese players=huge financial investment. Latino players=low risk speculation. Cash rules."
Bryant (a former Boston Herald columnist who speaks Spanish) also thinks the media bears some responsibility here.
"2002 NYY fired Orlando Hernandez's translator, saying he "had been here long enough to speak English." Hideo Nomo 12 MLB years w/translator. ... Nuestra culpa, tambien. Writers guilty, too. How do you cover a beat where you can't speak to 30 percent of your sources in their language? ... Mo Rivera excellent on this subject: says Latinos MUST speak english to represent themselves in US, but journos should try to learn espanol." Click here for the rest of the story.
Senator Graham to Challenge Birthright Citizenship?
Once a supporter of immigration reform, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) last week announced that he is considering the introduction of a constitutional amendment eliminating birthright citizenship. For details, see Andy Barr's article on Politico.com.
Graham apparently is moving in the direction of political winds blowing in states like Arizona, in which a legislator recently proposed the denial of birth certificates to the children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States. I previously have detailed the constitutional problems with this approach.
Senator Graham does habve one thing right, however. To change the current birthright citizenship rule, a constitutional amendment -- not a simple act of Congress -- would be necessary. This would take many years and face many hurdles.
New SSRN Immigration Articles
Here are some New Immigration Articles from the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com):
"Building Capacity for the Transnational Regulation of Migration" Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Vol. 110, pp. 1-11, February 2010 NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-37 CRISTINA RODRIGUEZ, New York University - School of Law. ABSTRACT: Two significant conceptual errors frame the public debate concerning labor migration and the related phenomenon of illegal immigration. First, the immigration debate occurs largely within a domestic political framework, and the assumption that the United States can address immigration issues, particularly illegal immigration, through the perfection of domestic enforcement mechanisms pervades the discourse. But migration is inherently international, and its management requires engagement with other governments and with social facts beyond U.S. control. Second, the rhetorical emphasis placed on “fixing” our broken regime reflects a conception of immigration as a problem to be solved. But migration is a cross-border phenomenon produced by structural and historical factors that will only evolve, rather than disappear, and it therefore requires transnational management, rather than a one-time comprehensive legislative solution. In their contributions to the policy debate, scholars increasingly have emphasized the importance of addressing labor and illegal migration through bilateral and transnational frameworks – through accords that would recognize the interdependence of the United States and Mexico and engage our neighbor to the south directly. In this Essay, I seek to contribute to this strand of commentary by focusing on the actual mechanisms of transnationalism and the avenues they open up for advancing a meaningful bilateralism. I demonstrate that the cross-border administrative law space created by these mechanisms is occupied not just by international entities, but also by entanglements between the domestic institutions of different countries. I emphasize the importance of identifying and then building the mechanisms of bilateralism, or the cross-border institutional capacities needed for managing migration in a manner that promotes burden-sharing, or that ensures that both sides of the bilateral relationship reap benefits and bear costs, in rough proportion.
"Conflicting Signals: Understanding US Immigration Reform Through the Evolution of US Immigration Law" Catalan Journal of Public Law, Vol. 40, p. 145, 2010 Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-18 JILL E. FAMILY, Widener University - School of Law. ABSTRACT: This essay, published in the Revista catalana de dret public (Catalan Journal of Public Law), highlights the conflicting signals sent throughout the history of US immigration law. One consistent feature of the development of US immigration law is that it has exhibited signs of welcome and of tight control. Understanding this conflicted narrative helps to explain modern debates about immigration reform in the United States. The conflicting signals are evident in debates about the effectiveness of the system designed to select immigrants (including its enforcement features) and in debates over the future of the immigration adjudication system. Opposing views in these debates reflect the historical signals of welcome and of tight control.
"The Citizenship Clause: A 'Legislative History'" GARRETT EPPS, University of Baltimore School of Law ABSTRACT: Recently, scholars and lawmakers have suggested that the United States, or even states, cease to recognize citizenship of the American-born children of undocumented aliens. This would seem to be a direct contravention of the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, which begins by saying, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Conservative legal scholars have begun to advance scholarly arguments suggesting that the "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" language was "intended" by the Framers of the Amendment to require legal status and "full allegiance" to the United States to activate the citizenship guarantee. A review of the legislative debates during the framing of the Amendment reveals little evidence to support this contention. It indicates that the language was designed to exclude two and only two groups: (1) children of diplomats accredited to the United States and (2) members of Indian tribes who maintained quasi-sovereign status under federal Indian law as it existed in 1868. The contrary contention arises out of a partial and strained reading of the debates and an at best partial understanding of the intellectual background of the Amendment. That proponents of a narrower view propound their interpretation as embodying the "clear intent" of the Framers seems to contrary to the record as to raise questions about the very meaningfulness of "originalist" arguments in general.
"The Constitutionality of the Taxation Consequences for Renouncing U.S. Citizenship" Florida Tax Review, Vol. 9, No. 11, 2010 WILLIAM THOMAS WORSTER, The Hague University. ABSTRACT: Individuals that renounce their U.S. citizenship are held to a special taxation regime as a consequence for their expatriation that is unique in the world and, this article will argue, unconstitutional. Originally, renunciation of citizenship was seen as the ultimate income tax reduction device, but this option has now lost much of its attractiveness as Congress has passed “exit tax” provisions that impose a tax liability on individuals who have renounced U.S. citizenship similar to that imposed on U.S. citizens. This article will argue that, as it currently stands, the exit tax is not constitutional because it is not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest and must be judged at that standard because it infringes on the fundamental right to expatriate and discriminates based on national origin.
August 1, 2010
Harsh Deportation Laws Result in Family Separation
Antonio Olivo reports for the Chicago Tribune:
It's bath time for 19-month-old Lucas Guerra, who splashes in delight as his mother, Amy, washes him in their West Chicago home while his father looks on from Monterrey, Mexico.
"Can you lift the screen a little bit?" Carlos Guerra asks, his voice coming from the laptop computer that Amy Guerra has placed on top of a plastic bathroom hamper.
The laptop is adjusted and Carlos' view changes from the lip of the bathtub to the smiling toddler he's seen in person only twice since the boy was born. "That's good, thank you," Carlos says.
The Guerras arrangement — a father watching his child grow up through choppy digital bytes provided by a computer — is an increasingly common reality for thousands of families separated by U.S. immigration laws, prompting the creation of several online support groups.
Between the growing number of deportations since 2007 — 400,000 expected during the current fiscal year that ends in October alone — and the years-long wait for legal immigration applications to be processed, a sense of unity for many families rides on Internet access or long-distance telephone calls. Click here for the rest of the story.