Saturday, August 14, 2010

Filing Appeals with the Administrative Appeals Office

For those who assist clients in filing appeals with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO):

AAO processing times is posted on the USCIS website. Here is the link:

Here is a flow chart of how cases move through AAO.



August 14, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

More on Birthright Citizenship: Why a Color-Blind Approach to the Question Misses the Point

The nation continues to experience blow back from Senator Lindsey Graham's proposal to consider a constitutional amendment ending birthright citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post sees the call for the abolition of birthright citizenship as an effort by Republicans to limit growing Latino political clout  Ignoring the disparate racial impacts of the proposed end of automatic birthright citizenship, Law Prof Peter Schuck suggests that Congress require that the children demonstrate some "genuine connection" to the United States before getting citizenship, possibly through attending school.

The contrasting approaches in these two pieces -- one focusing on the racial impacts of a possible change in the law and the other taking a color-blind approach -- demonstrate why there is such a chasm between the two warring sides of the debate on the issue.

Won't the hearings in Congress on a possible constitutional amendment to birthright citizenship be great fun?  Stay tuned!


August 14, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 13, 2010

UC Professor Cleared -- of Helping Migrants?

UCSD arts professor Ricardo Dominguez did not use school funds inappropriately, according to the findings of a University of California official investigation.  The University investigated Dominguez’s use of  grant money to fund the Transborder Immigrant Tool (TBT), a GPS-enabled Motorola cell phone meant to aid immigrants crossing the border by providing information about water caches in the desert and offering moral support in the form of streaming bilingual poetry. For more read this story from The Last Blog on Earth.


August 13, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Conference on Municipal IDs

From the Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights:

Third National Web Conference
Cities for All: Integrating our Communities
August 21st 2010, 9:00 AM
In the web:   
Location: Clinica de la Raza, 3451 East 12th st. Oakland CA 94601

The Alianza Latinoamericana por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes (ALIADI) Would like to cordially invite you to a national conference focusing on the social integration of marginalized communities by implementing a successful Municipal Identification Card Program.  Since we have not seen any commitment from the Obama administration to support a federal immigration reform this year for over 12 million immigrant workers, and even if it happens, these millions of workers will have to wait at the end of the line for many years.  We have been working on alternatives to integrate them and their families in our communities. We need to work on alternatives. As well, we encourage social workers and civil rights defenders who repeatedly face the bureaucratic wall of prejudice and discrimination against homeless, people of low income or in the trans identity process and other marginalized sectors, to join us.

The purpose of this conference is to highlight and explain the implementation of municipal identification cards as a tool for the social, economic and political integration of our communities.  As you have probably already learned there are currently two cities--New Haven CT and San Francisco, CA-- in the United States that have adopted municipal identification card programs that offer ID/resident cards to all city residents.

These programs, initially pushed by the undocumented community have turned into inclusive, community-wide positive projects that help provide proper governmental identification cards to those that otherwise do not posses one.  For an array of reasons many in our cities often lack a valid government issued identification which prevents them from accessing bank accounts and libraries and exposes them to identification verifying issues with local police and businesses.  Many of these residents are already marginalized members of our community like those with low income, the homeless, youth, elderly, youth, LGBT,  domestic violence and immigrants; the lack of an ID only exacerbates and entrenches the economic and social marginalization that already exists.
For these and many other reasons we are hosting the third National Cyber-Conference;  Cities for All: Integrating our Communities, to share the experience of the SF and Oakland ID Card programs, as well as other cities updates on similar projects like New Haven, and Trenton New Jersey, Chicago, Minneapolis, Marin County, Richmond, but also to brainstorm with you about how similar programs can be established in your cities to help integrate all our residents.  Such programs are legally valid and well within the general powers of our municipal governments. 
At first the concept of a municipal ID may seem unnecessary.  However, in addition to providing an official ID to those who would otherwise lack one, groups working on these programs have learned that the implementation of municipal identification cards can creatively and effectively spur local economic activity and make our communities safer. For example, groups in Oakland local business and recreational activity discounts have been attached to the ID project, helping stimulate the economy. In New Haven, public safety has improved as individuals who were once afraid of being harassed for not having some form of identification, are now more willing to cooperate with police. In the case of San Francisco, cardholders have discounts in business and access Healthy San Francisco Program.
The Third National Cyber-Conference; Cities for All: Integrating our communities,  will be taking place on  August 21th 2010, Oakland California.
The conference’s main goals are to:

a) Consolidate the implementation of municipal ID’s in different cities country wide. (In addition to the adoption of a municipal ID program in SF (there are four other cities where community organizations have been taken the lead to implement such a program)
b) Present the numerous benefits of implementing a municipal ID program and demonstrate how such a program benefits marginalized sectors of society, including (but not limited to) low-income workers, the homeless, youth, elderly, LGBT, domestic violence victims and immigrants from every nationality
c) Share current experiences of municipal programs already implemented and those that are under way with other organizations and political authorities from different states.
d) Break barriers and convince, with valid justifications and facts, that the municipal ID card is the solution to many of the community problems.
e) Involve the participants in a national movement.

Conference Design:

  a) Community panels: Experiences shared Community members
  b) Back ground information: What is a Municipal ID Card? And FAQs
  c) Overcoming barriers and introducing strategic planning.
  d) Supporting new coalitions and offering community presentations.
  e) Establish a timeline by which to launch a national movement.

Workshops/presentations Include:
• People Privacy-Inclusiveness
• Economic/Social/Political Context for Federal Law Immigration Reform.
• Identity and Safety.
• What is a Municipal ID Card and its Multiple Uses
• Legal Basis/ Municipal Government Legislation/ Yale Report.
• Grassroots Strategies to Integrate Our Communities.
• Local Commerce and Economic Sustainability for Marginalized Communities and new technologies.
• Overcoming Politics of Division Cross-Alliances.
• Implementation, Key Studies: New Haven/San Francisco/Oakland

Among the panelists we have confirmed: Journalist/Writer David Bacon, Phil Hutchins (Black Alliance for Immigration Reform, Nativo V Lopez, President of MAPA, Professor Bill Hing, Professor Raul Hinojosa, as well as elected officials from different cities.

 A short list of endorsers include: ALIADI Bay Area Chapters, Black Alliance for Just Immigration Reform BAJI,  Oakland City ID Coalition, Centro Latino Cuzcatlan, Community in Action (Chicago), FMLN Northern California, General Brotherhood of Workers, Global Exchange, Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, The California League for United Latin American Citizens LULAC, Mexican American Political Association MAPA, Marin Immigrant Rights Coalition MIRA, MUAI, Mujeres en Liderazgo )Minneapolis), National Latino Congreso, Nuestra Casa East Palo Alto.

We would be truly grateful if your organization joined us in this important effort to integrate our communities.  As the national conference date is coming up soon, please let us know as soon as possible if you will able to join us.

If you would like to support the integration of marginalized communities giving a presentation, endorsing or becoming a cosponsor, of this conference, please contact us to talk about the different ways you can collaborate.

Best regards,

Miguel Robles
Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights (ALIADI)
ALIADI stands for the Alianza Latinoamericana por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes, a network of community members throughout California who share information and resources to uphold the rights and social integration of our immigrant community.


August 13, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Resurgence of Racism in France

From the Associated Press:

U.N. experts say they're concerned that French plans to strip crime-committing immigrants of citizenship could violate their human rights.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has urged the measure when police officers' lives are endangered, and his government has added other crimes that could apply.

At a U.N. anti-racism body meeting Thursday, panelists asked French officials whether the law risks dividing citizens into those who can be kicked out of France, and those who can't. The U.N. experts also questioned if the immigrants would be accepted back by their former countries, or end up stateless. Click here for more.


August 13, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Enforcement Now, Enforcement Forever: Senate Passes Border Security Bill

With comprehensive immigration reform addressing the nation's broken immigration system nowhere on the horizon, with record levels of deportations and record levels of expenditures on border enforcement, and with 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of American life, what does the U.S. Senate do to address the issues?   In a rare bipartisan measure, the Senate has passed a $600 million measure to bolster border security. "With this bill's passage today, we have clearly shown we are serious about securing our nation's borders," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).   Schumer previously had resisted increased enforcement efforts without more comprehensive reform.  As an old boss of mine once told me about President Clinton, with friends like that . . . .?

For a critical statement of the border security bill, click here and here.


August 13, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When Birthright Citizenship was last "Reconsidered": REGAN v. KING and Asian Americans

In a series of posts, Greg Robinson recounts the history of a legal challenge to birthright citizenship during WWII on the Faculty Lounge (the link goes to Part V of the series).


August 12, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Peter Schrag; From the Bookshelves: Not Fit for Our Society Immigration and Nativism in America by Peter Schrag

In Not Fit for Our Society Immigration and Nativism in America, Peter Schrag , whose family fled Nazi Germany (which makes him eligible for Immigrant of the Day) provides essential background for understanding the fractious debate over immigration. Covering the earliest days of the Republic to current events, Schrag sets the modern immigration controversy within the context of three centuries of debate over the same questions about who exactly is fit for citizenship. He finds that nativism has long colored our national history, with the fear—and loathing—of newcomers that provides one of the faultlines of American cultural and political life.

Schrag describes the eerie similarities between the race-based arguments for restricting Irish, German, Slav, Italian, Jewish, and Chinese immigrants in the past and the arguments for restricting Latinos and others today. He links the terrible history of eugenic "science" to ideas, individuals, and groups now at the forefront of the fight against rational immigration policies. Not Fit for Our Society makes a powerful case for understanding the complex, often paradoxical history of immigration restriction as we work through the issues that inform, and often distort, the debate over who can become a citizen, who decides, and on what basis.


August 12, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Quarter of Secure Communities Deportees Are Not Criminals

Drew Joseph writes for the San Francisco Chronicle:

More than one-fourth of illegal immigrants deported from the United States under a federal program that supporters touted as a way to identify and deport dangerous criminals were not convicted of crimes, according to government reports released Tuesday.

In California, 26 percent - 3,875 out of 14,823 - of those deported as part of the program from May 2009 to the end of June were not criminals, while 4,128 were convicted of the most serious crimes, the reports from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement showed.

Critics of the program said the numbers demonstrate that it has failed to reach the most serious criminal immigrants, while at the same time instilling fear of local law enforcement officers among immigrant communities.

Secure Communities requires states to forward the fingerprints of people who are booked into jails to federal immigration officials so that agents can check the prints against their databases. If there is a match, local authorities must hold the person until federal authorities come for him or her.

The program has been rolled out to almost half of California's communities and was implemented in San Francisco on June 8.

Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who along with the Board of Supervisors opposed the program, said in a conference call Tuesday that federal agents have picked up people in San Francisco whose charges were dropped after their arrest. Click here for the rest of the piece.


August 12, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Upcoming ILRC Webinars and Seminars

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:


● Introduction to Deportation Defense (San Francisco): September 20, 2010, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

● Essential Elements of Immigration Law: (San Francisco): September 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27,  & November 3, 2010, 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm


● Intercountry Adoptions: September 15, 2010, 10:00 am – 11:30 am PDT

● Motions to Reopen: September 16, 2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

● Good Moral Character in Naturalization Cases: October 8, 2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

● BIA Jurisdiction: October 14, 2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

● Advanced Webinar on Waivers in Consular Processing with a Focus on Ciudad Juárez:  

   October 21, 2010, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm PDT

● U Visa Webinar Series:

● Assisting Family Members through the U Nonimmigrant Status Process: September 30, 

    2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

● Traveling with a U Visa: October 28, 2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT 

● Addressing Inadmissibility Issues for U Nonimmigrants: December 2, 2010, 12:00 pm –  1:30 pm PST

  ● U Visa Removal Issues: December 9, 2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PST

For more details & questions: Contact 415-255-9499 x789 or


August 12, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

L.A. Declares August as Immigrant Pride Month

With Arizona's controversial SB 1070 law set to become law next week Friday, the city of Los Angeles today approved a resolution declaring August as Immigrant Pride Month. The city of Los Angeles is made up of 1.6 million -- that's 40% of the population -- immigrants, according to the proposal's authors, Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Jose Huizar. The move is meant to be "a positive counter example" to the SB 1070, which instructs officers to ask about immigration status when there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is an illegal immigrant. "This is a city that celebrates all people wherever they come from," said Huizar. "No one should be held to a higher standard simply because of characteristics someone may think they have that is different from the norm, whatever that norm may be. That norm is very diverse, it comes in different colors, different flavors, and so, we hope this law is struck down." Council President Eric Garcetti said this wasn't the first time the city has done such a move, but opined there is "no year has it felt as important as this one." Earlier this year, the city boycotted Arizona, but still continued a contract with an Arizona-based business that operates red light cameras at intersections. A committee on Thursday approved extending a contract with Super Shuttle, which provides transportation to and from LAX. Being the city cheerleader he is, Councilmember Tom LaBonge suggested a friendly amendment, extending the month-long recognition by four days. "September 4th, 1781 is when 44 people walked nine miles from the Mission San Gabriel to the banks of the Los Angeles River to form the Pueblo Los Angeles... [It] would be signifiacnt because los angeles was founded on diversity," he said of the diverse heritage of the 44 pobladores. The resolution, along with LaBonge's amendment, was approved unanimously with 10 votes. The resolution only declares August of 2010 as Immigrant Pride Month, not all future months.


August 12, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


SILENCE IN A TIME OF TORMENT: THROWING INDIAN IT FIRMS UNDER THE BUS By Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta considers critically, a Border Security bill, H.R. 6080, which was passed by the House on August 10, 2010 and proposes to add 1,500 more border officers on the US-Mexico border. It proposes to pay for their salaries and other support systems by substantially raising the filing fees of H-1B and L petitions filed by companies that employ 50 or more employees if more than 50% of these employees are admitted on H-1B or L visas. H.R. 6080 is identical to S. 3721 passed in the Senate on August 5, 2010. When discussing the bill, Senator Schumer, who initiated the fee increase, indicated that the burden of the increased fees - $2,000 more for each H-1B and $2,500 more for each L - would fall on Indian IT companies and likened the largest Indian IT giant, Infosys, to a “chop shop,”

For more, click the link above.


August 12, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ImmigrationProf AmongTop 100 Graduate Blogs

ImmigrationProf has been featured on a list of the Top 100 Graduate Blogs by University Personnel.

Thank you loyal readers!


August 11, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

More Support for UAFA


Out4Immigration’s Grassroots Support for Federal Legislation Raises Awareness that LGBT Americans with Foreign Partners Need Immigration Reform, Too

August 10, 2010, San Francisco, CA – More than 30 US cities, counties and the state of California have issued resolutions or written formal letters of endorsement urging Congress to pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). This federal legislation would grant LGBT Americans with foreign partners - same-sex binational couples - the same rights their heterosexual counterparts access through marriage: the right of an American citizen to sponsor their life partner for a green card and keep their families together in the United States.

These actions, spearheaded by Out4Immigration, an all-volunteer organization of same-sex binational couples and their supporters, takes heed from the late Congressional leader Tip O'Neill's belief that "all politics is local."

"We are tired of waiting for Congress to act on our behalf," said Amos Lim, one of the founders of Out4Immigration, who points out that UAFA has been introduced in every session of Congress in various forms since 2000. Although it remains one of the most popular stand-alone immigration bill in the House, and had a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009, it has failed, along with Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to move forward in 2010.

"More than 36,000 same-sex binational couples need this law passed now," said Lim. "Families are being torn apart. Countless of Americans have been forced to live in exile to be with the person they love. Those forced to leave the country leave behind elderly parents, young adult children, jobs and communities that they are a vital part of."

Out4Immigration members regularly write to and visit their Congressional representatives to ask for passage of UAFA, but telling their stories to their communities at the local level has proved to be an empowering strategy to raise awareness about the devastating effect the broken immigration system is having on American citizens from the ground up.

"Our members write to or call their mayor, a council member or state senator. These local officials are very accessible and willing to listen," said Lim. "These local resolutions are an official endorsement that collectively carry a lot of weight when they arrive at a Senator or Representative's office. It puts those officials on notice that it is time to fix our broken immigration system."

Anyone can implement a local action in their city, county or state with help from Out4Immigration. An online toolkit is available at this link:

Those interested in finding out more should contact Amos Lim at or 415.742.1626


August 11, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Too Many Anchor Babies? What is Senator Graham Smoking? Pew Hispanic Center Responds With Facts

Senator Lindsey Graham has called for hearings on a constitutional amendment to do away with birthright citizenship for the citizens children of undocumented immigrants.  Just how big a problem is this?  An estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center.


August 11, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


National Day Laborer Organization Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law have prepared a BRIEFING GUIDE TO “SECURE COMMUNITIES” NEW STATISTICS AND INFORMATION REVEAL DISTURBING TRENDS AND LEAVE CRUCIAL QUESTIONS UNANSWERED.  See Download NDLON_FOIA_Briefing[1]


August 11, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Report: Beyond Borders: Exploring Links between Trafficking, Globalisation, and Security

Beyond Borders: Exploring Links between Trafficking, Globalisation, and Security identifies the ways in which globalization (through structural adjustment, global competition and trade liberalization) and security discourse impact the human rights of migrants and trafficked persons and offers recommendations on how anti-trafficking strategies can engage in these areas to maximize the human rights of trafficked persons. The paper, co-authored by Jayne Huckerby and April Gu at the International Human Rights Clinic/CHRGJ, is part of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Working Paper Series which explores links between trafficking and migration; trafficking and labor; trafficking and gender; and trafficking, globalization, and security.   Download Globalisation[1]


August 11, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Secure Communities in Place Along Border Counties

Ken Dilanian of the L.A. Times reports on how the new ICE program Secure Communities, which allows information (and fingerprint) sharing between federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, is now in place in aall 25 coiunties along the U.S./Mexico border.  The program is controversial; critics fear that it will chill immigrants, who may fear deportation, form cooperating with state and local police in law enforcement.


August 11, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Birthright Citizenship and United States v. Wong Kim Ark

Philip Wolgin on Huffington Post has commentary on the birthright citizenship debate and United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the Suprreme Court decision that opponents of birthright citizenship love to hate (and frequently ignore).


August 11, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Harvard Latino Law Review Seeks Paper on Arizona's SB 1070

The Harvard Latino Law Review is seeking to publish a brief note on the impact of Arizona's SB 1070 on the Latino community. If you are interested in submitting a piece for consideration, please send us a short abstract describing the perspective you'll take on the issue by Friday, September 3. The full text would be due by Monday, October 4. We are especially interested in publishing a student, faculty, or practicioner author who would be willing to update his/her piece in accordance with legal developments. Please contact us with questions or your abstract at


August 10, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)