Saturday, August 28, 2010

Migrants at Sea

It should not be a surprise but, with border enforcement on the land borders tigteneing, migrants and their smugglers are looking to the seas.  Elliot Spagat of AP reports on the new sea migrants on the Pacific in northern Baja/Southern California.

As this blog indicates, Migrants at Sea are worldwide.


August 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Massacre of Migrants

From the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

Dear NNIRR members, partners, allies & friends,

Migrant workers continue paying a heavy price as a result of the volatile mixture of the U.S. militarization of immigration control and border communities, the criminalization of migration, the expansion of NAFTA or “free” trade under the “Merida Initiative,” a war on drugs and national security.

On Tuesday, August 24, 2010, devastating news reports began trickling out about a horrific massacre of some 72 international migrants that took place in Mexico. Armed members of a drug cartel had kidnapped these Central and South America migrants. The cartel gunmen were trying to extort ransom money from them to let them continue on their dangerous journey to the U.S. with the hope of reuniting with their families and seek work to survive.

The drug traffickers had tied the migrants’ hands behind their backs and then executed them by shooting them in the back. One migrant who survived the execution, although gravely wounded, dragged himself miles when he stumbled upon a military checkpoint on a highway and alerted them. Some 200 soldiers were mobilized and went to the farmhouse where a heavy gun battle ensued, leaving one soldier and three drug cartel gunmen dead. Then the soldiers made the grisly discovery of the migrants’ bodies, 58 men and 14 women—migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Brazil—who been slaughtered inside a farmhouse close to San Fernando, a small farming community in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas and about a 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.

Epidemic of Abuse and Exploitation of Migrants

The Mexican government’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reports that more than 10,000 migrant kidnappings have been reported in the first six months of 2010 in Mexico. Yet, the CNDH and the Mexican government have not worked to effectively protect migrants, expose the abuses and prosecute the traffickers and their collaborators in the police, military and other government entities.

Drug traffickers and smugglers, as well as police and military, often hold migrants hostage and force them to pay high ransoms before they are allowed to continue usually on the last leg of their journey to the U.S. The CNDH said that in the first half of 2009, when only some 9,000 migrant kidnapping cases had been reported, corrupt government officials and police, organized crime, traffickers and other criminals extorted as much as $25 million dollars from kidnapped migrants.

When migrants make it to the U.S.-Mexico border, they fare no better. The U.S. deliberately funnels migrants into the deserts and mountains of Arizona and parts of New Mexico and Texas. Here at the border they are subjected to another layer of abuse. They are thrown into the hands of smugglers and other traffickers who have no second thoughts about abandoning individuals, who are often injured or suffering severe exhaustion, in the wilds, where migrants face a certain death either by extremes of heat or cold.

As a result of criminalization and few if any options to regularize their status or migrate with rights, U.S. and international migration control policies make migrant workers easy targets for exploitation and criminal attacks and extortions, where they live and work or whether in they are in transit or in the U.S.

Although Mexico is a signatory to the “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families,” the Mexican government’s de facto policies and treatment of migrants is a bloodied mark on the convention. The U.S. is not a signatory to the migrant workers’ human rights convention. U.S. immigration enforcement and services, bound up to the U.S. politics of national security, are rife with abuses and human rights violations.

Mexican and U.S. policies, collusion through inaction, and their own impunity have created a situation where thousands of migrants are being subjected to extremes of abuse. The massacre of migrants in Mexico shows that drug traffickers have “diversified” their wares to include humans. They act with impunity, either as a result of official corruption or collusion that turns a blind eye to the exploitation, and results in the unfortunate death of migrants “funneled” by U.S. policies through the deadly desert and mountainous areas of the border.

Migrants who survive the journey only slightly fare better. Once out of the clutches of traffickers and smugglers they face a gauntlet of unscrupulous police, elected officials and employers who prey upon them. Or they are further criminalized and are hunted down, filling the dungeons of prisons, euphemistically called “detention centers.”

What is to be done?

What is to be done? Certainly, we should call for the investigation and prosecution all the abusers and those in government who collaborated in this heinous crime. But even this will not be enough. To prevent further abuses will take historic efforts on our and the immigrant rights and justice movements’ part. It will mean organizing to make the U.S. and Mexican governments decriminalize migration and demilitarize immigration control and border communities. These demands also have to expose the root causes and push back on economic and trade policies that undermine communities and forcibly displace workers and divide families.

For now we ask everyone to take a minute to reflect on this horrendous massacre of innocents and to respect those migrants among us who have survived this odyssey – just to be with their families, to work and support their families and communities back home.


August 28, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Mass Deportations of Romas/Gypsies Criticized

According to the Associated Press:

A U.N. panel is demanding that France stop rounding up Gypsies to force them back to Romania, saying the practice violates human rights.

The recommendation comes a day after the archbishop of Paris called France's crackdown a "circus" as the country expelled nearly 300 minority Roma.

The U.N. anti-racism panel said Friday that France should avoid "collective repatriation" of Gypsies while findings solutions that respect human rights.

It expressed concern that Gypsies in France weren't receiving full voting, education and housing rights.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's government links the Roma to crime such as prostitution and child exploitation. Critics say the policy amounts to racism against one of the European Union's most impoverished minorities.

Seehere as well.


August 28, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights Watch Report: Detained and at Risk: Sexual Abuse and Harassment in United States Immigration Detention

The US government needs to strengthen its protection of people in immigration detention to prevent sexual abuse and to ensure justice for victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report. The 24-page report,"Detained and at Risk: Sexual Abuse and Harassment in United States Immigration Detention," describes documented incidents and allegations of abuse. It also discusses recent proposals by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to address the issue. Human Rights Watch emphasized that the agency should make improvements swiftly to improve oversight of the entire detention system and ensure accountability.

August 28, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Film Lookout: Machete!

Watch for the release of the Robert Rodriguez film Machete.  Here is the plot summary:

The highly skilled Federale Machete is hired by some unsavory types to assassinate a senator. But just as he's about to take the shot, he notices someone aiming at him and realizes he's been set up. He barely survives the sniper's bullet, and is soon out for revenge on his former employers, with the reluctant assistance of his old friend Cheech Marin, who has become a priest and taken a vow of nonviolence. If you hire him to take out the bad guys, make sure the bad guys aren't you!

Here is the official website.

The cast is amazing:

Danny Trejo as Machete, a legendary ex-Federale with a deadly attitude and the skills to match.

Steven Seagal as Torrez, a druglord.

Michelle Rodriguez as Luz aka Shé, a taco-truck lady with a rebellious spirit and revolutionary heart.

Jeff Fahey as Michael Benz, a ruthless businessman with an endless payroll of killers.

Cheech Marin as Padre, a priest who's good with blessings, but better with guns.

Lindsay Lohan as April Benz aka The Sister, a socialite with a penchant for guns" and a nun with a gun."

Don Johnson as Lt. Von Stillman, a twisted border vigilante leading a small army."

Jessica Alba as Sartana, a beautiful Immigrations Officer torn between enforcing the law and doing what is right."

Robert De Niro as Senator John McLaughlin

Rose McGowan as Ginger, hired by Benz Electra and Elise Avellan as The Nurses at the hospital where Machete is treated.

Cheryl Chin as Torrez' Henchwoman.

Stacy Keach as Doc Franklin.


August 28, 2010 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Believe It or Not! Deportation for Undocumented Fishing?

Read on.


August 27, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Resources on Removal Proceedings - IAN Update

In response to the backlog of cases pending before the Immigration Courts, on August 20, 2010 ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton issued a memorandum on "Guidance Regarding the Handling of Removal Proceedings of Aliens with Pending or Approved Applications or Petitions." The memo discusses the steps that the ICE Office of Chief Counsel (the attorneys representing DHS/ICE in removal proceedings) should take in cases of detained and non-detained individuals who are the subject of pending applications or petitions that, upon approval, would provide an immediate basis for relief. In those cases, the Office of Chief Counsel is first advised to request expedited adjudication of the application or petition from USCIS. Second, the Office of Chief Counsel is advised to pursue termination of the removal proceedings. In general, termination may be requested by either party to removal proceedings, including U.S. ICE or the Respondent, but the decision is ultimately made by the Immigration Judge. In cases involving detained individuals, the memo also advises ICE to issue a release under certain circumstances following the termination of the removal proceedings.

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) has compiled a library on this issue.  It contains:

The memo on handling certain removal cases is available in the deportation and removal library at

A previous ICE memo on civil enforcement priorities, which includes a discussion of detention and removal, is available at

The immigration court practice manual, which provides guidance on motions and related immigration court procedures, is available at

 A report from the ABA Commission on Immigration entitled, "Reforming the Immigration System," which includes a discussion on the caseload burden in immigration court, is available at

The "News" section contains: 

An article from the Houston Chronicle about ICE's focus on the termination of removal cases at

 A Washington Post article on the backlog of cases pending before the Immigration Court at

Other resources on removal proceedings:

American Immigration Council The American Immigration Council (AIC) Legal Action Center issues practice advisories addressing a variety of immigration law issues to assist practitioners representing immigrants in removal proceedings at

ASISTA ASISTA offers resources related to cases in proceedings/immigration court at

Executive Office for Immigration Review The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which houses the Immigration Courts, maintains a page of resources, including forms, news, and information about Immigration Courts nationwide at


August 27, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Refugees find the American dream down on the farm

In the last few years, a growing – indeed, unprecedented -- number of state and local governments, frustrated with the failure of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and increasingly uneasy over the real and imagined changes brought by new immigrants to their communities, have adopted harsh measures that purport to address undocumented immigration and immigrants.

One reason for the vigor of those efforts is the changing distribution of immigrants across the United States. Since 1990, new immigrant communities have emerged in parts of the nation, such as Arkansas, South Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska, and rural areas of the Midwest and South, which had not in recent years seen large numbers of immigrants. Tensions have resulted. Consequently, the debate over immigration in modern times most definitely is not limited to the West and large urban cities in the East, as historically had been the case over much of the course of U.S. history.

This L.A. Times story offers some positive insights about refugees from around the world, including Africa and Asia, settling -- and thriving -- in rural America.


August 27, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anti-Latino Hate Crimes Up!

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that anti-Latino hate crimes are up and have been increasing for a number of years.  This should not be surprising given the overheated nature of the immigration debate, the controversy over Arizona's SB 1070, politicians trying to make political hay by decrying "anchor babies" and advocating the abolition of birthright citizenship, and the like.


August 26, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Standing Up to Arizona: Rebellious Lawyering Conference


The Rebellious Lawyering Institute

September 23-25 2010, Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico


We formally invite you to join us in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a Rebellious Lawyering Training. We’ve already sent out several “Save The Date” messages, and now we’re providing a programmatic sketch.  We’ll focus on Arizona and the Nation, illuminating through extraordinary participants and materials how we might effectively deal with the anti-immigrant and racist practices and policies now shaping the crisis.  We hope you join us and those who already have made their plans to be at the Training with us. 

The Organizers

Gerald P. López; Bill Ong Hing, Kip Bobroff, Eric Cohen, Tara Ford, Shauna Marshall, Pegasus Legal Services for Children (Albuquerque, New Mexico), The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (San Francisco, California), and Rebellious Lawyering Institute.

Location: Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Days & Times: We shall meet from 8:30 am- 4:30 pm on Thursday and Friday (September 23 & 24) and from 9:00 am-1:00 pm on Saturday (September 25).

CLE Credit: A total of 16.25 MCLE credits (including 1 hour of ethics)
will be available from California, and CLE credits are now pending review in New Mexico. We shall work with individuals to secure credit from other jurisdictions in which they practice . . .

Registration Fee: $450.00. (The fee reflects bare-bones costs of putting on the conference, without compensation for organizers or trainers.) 

Two Ways to Pay Registration Fee:

Pay Pal: You may use a credit card to pay the registration fee at this PayPal link (the amount includes the Santa Fe Gross Receipts Tax of 8.1875%):

Mailing Address: Or you may write your check out to “Rebellious Lawyering” and mail it immediately to:

Rebellious Lawyering
1208 San Pedro NE, #164
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Scholarships:  A very limited number of reduced-fee scholarships will be available. If you want to attend but absolutely cannot without financial assistance, please email and explain your situation and we shall immediately review your request.

Bios: In order to familiarize ourselves with one another, please email with your one-page bio (including any helpful/lengthier electronic links).

Hotel Reservations:

Most attending our training have reserved rooms at Bishops's Lodge, where we are holding the event. If you book with Bishop’s Lodge, please tell them you are with the Rebellious Lawyering. But like some others joining us, you may decide to book elsewhere in the Santa Fe area and make the easy 8-10 minute drive from downtown Santa Fe to Bishop’s Lodge. For your convenience, here are the names of only a tiny handful of the many other places local Santa Fe folks recommend:  Hotel Santa Fe, La Posada, La Fonda, Santa Fe Hilton, Eldorado. No matter where you decide to stay, though, please do book early to avoid hassles finding a place.

Training Program Reader: We have prepared comprehensive readings and shall make them available to those who have registered.

Training Program Topics Will Include:

I. Arizona and The Nation – A Close Examination of The Entangled Situation

Informed by a range of sophisticated legal, historical, and cultural literatures, we’ll begin by exploring what is now happening in Arizona, in other states, and across the nation.  Even the savviest observers find the state  of affairs confused and confusing.  SB 10710 only heightened an already ugly situation shaped by anti-immigrant state and local practices (think most obviously of the aims and methods of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office) and by increasingly militant federal government maneuvers (along the border and through ICE initiatives such as Secure Communities, 287(g), and Criminal Alien Program (CAP)).  Xenophobia and racism can be traced throughout Arizona’s history, from Arizona’s longstanding subordination of Indians, Mexicans, and Chinese to its high-profile opposition to Martin Luther King Day. And some Arizonans carry forward this shameful tradition. Even in the face of Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling, vigilantes proudly trumpet their lawlessness, Sheriff Arpaio insists nothing has changed and it’s business as usual, and legislators urge everything from firing teachers with accents to overturning birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment.  What does a study of legal, economic, political, cultural, and demographic forces tell us is happening here?
II. Litigation – Constitutional Politics and Strategies

    In Arizona, seven lawsuits have been filed on behalf of diverse individual and organizational clients, in the name of the United States itself, and through the work of many law offices and lawyers.  Relying upon the historically favored interpretation of the Supremacy Clause, Judge Bolton reaffirmed the constitutional order SB 1070 threatened to obliterate. But given the power struggle over “policing immigration,” constitutional politics will remain central to the current crisis. Gone are the days when Supremacy Clause jurisprudence seemed even to lawyers an obscure specialty and when Constitutional Law expertise could be regarded as far less than fundamental to the practices of on-the-ground activists. Gone are those days at least for any accountable and self-respecting advocate. We must become fluent about the appeal before the Ninth Circuit of Judge Bolton’s ruling and about other “big” civil rights lawsuits all across the nation. And we must recognize that “ordinary” immigration and criminal court proceedings and “everyday” street encounters provide practical moments of great constitutional significance. While formally the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule does not apply in deportation hearings (INS v. Lopez-Mendoza), resourceful administrative practitioners more than ever file motions to suppress evidence on Fifth Amendment grounds, for “egregious” Fourth Amendment violations, and for “pattern and practice” behavior.  Ambitious “know your rights” educational campaigns equip immigrants detained by federal and state officers to make informed choices about how best strategically to insist on constitutional protections. And, even in “big” federal court lawsuits, lawyers and pro-immigrant advocates must make victories stick:  After all, how do we effectively monitor compliance with Judge Bolton’s Order?

III. Comprehensives Immigration Reform

Few phrases get tossed around as much as “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  In its name, Senator Schumer successfully championed still more beefed-up border security and, in signing that law, President Obama praised that vote as another step toward comprehensive immigration reform. What does Obama have in mind? How do his views compare with those of, say, Faith leaders?  Border communities? Congressman Luis Gutiérrez? To what degree do views about policies reflect not only political realities but implicit attitudes toward Latino (especially Mexican) and other immigrants? Many ask whether comprehensive immigration reform can ever become reality given a deeply pathological Congress. Some question President Obama’s commitment to this issue. Other still wonder whether such reform is really something immigrants and pro-immigrant supporters should even want:  Has the promise of comprehensive reform already come at too great a price?  And, going deeper still, from what perspectives and through what metrics should we examine the menu of possible policy trajectories?  

IV. Protests & Resolutions & Boycotts – Our Wide World of Advocacy

In response to SB 1070, individuals, organizations, and government bodies have mobilized in diverse ways as part of advocacy campaigns.  We have seen movie trailers, mass protests, local government resolutions, and calls to boycott Arizona. Mobilizations provide a way of expressing our views, acting collectively, and influencing perceptions, choices, and outcomes. But what exactly does it take to initiate and pull off a march in New York City? A protest in Phoenix?  What led various cities and counties to declare they would no longer do business with Arizona? What prompted “big city” law enforcement officials to oppose SB 1070 and copycat laws?  Even if we know how to mobilize in various ways, how exactly do we measure if these efforts work? Is it enough to feel solidarity? Is it enough to perceive that others take note of disrupted daily routine?  Is it credible to insist that an earlier boycott led finally to Arizona’s recognition of MLK Day? Do protests influence policy makers? Judges?  Public opinion? Do they cause backlash? Are they valuable and necessary and sensible no matter what?

V. Colorblind in Principle & ColorConscious in Action – Implicit and Explicit Bias

Many insist that we live in a colorblind world. They declare that we should not behave in race-conscious ways and, even more fundamentally, that we already have created a world largely free from racial (and racist) views. Colorblindness has become the constitutional and political norm. But science (not to mention everyday experience) insists otherwise.  Empirical evidence of bias indicates we should reject confident claims about “perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral colorblindness.”  Instead of insisting self-deludingly and destructively on colorblindness, we ought to admit to and deal with our colorconsciousness – at least some of us so urge.  We ought to examine closely and report honestly – be “behaviorally realistic” about – how we in fact perceive and respond to others and how we might build a legal and social world true to what we know about ourselves and our institutions.  A sophisticated race-conscious view puts an entirely new spin on racial profiling, however. And not just about law enforcement. What are the inevitable color-conscious tilts and tendencies of institutions and cultures and individuals? For example, how do we ourselves perceive immigrants? Latino immigrants? Mexican immigrants? How do such views influence our practices and our ideas about documented and undocumented migration?  Can it really be true – as social science evidence suggests – that the election of President Obama weakened support for remedying racial injustices? Licensed greater favoritism of Whites? Should we resign ourselves to just being “hard-wired” racists? Should we accommodate “rational discrimination”?  Can we admit to “perceptual segregation,” perhaps all the way down? Can we embrace a colorconscious vision that offers no certain blueprint for improving racial relations and requires perpetual vigilance, of ourselves as much as others?

VI. Data & Debate & Judgment

    Arizona and the nation demonstrate, yet again, the powerful and perplexing relationship between data and debate and judgment.  Robust and accurate information can grab people’s attention, give them pause, perhaps even persuade them of a view they never before imagined believing. That can be true about issues as varied as immigrants and crime, immigrants and health, immigrants and job markets and about the intended and unintended impact of laws like SB 1070 and federal programs like CAP, Secure Communities, and 287(g). And that can be true for judges, legislators, police chiefs, chambers of commerce and, perhaps most importantly, the diverse millions who make up the “public.” At the same time, though, people often refuse to reconsider their opinions even when confronted with significant information that rebuts “the facts” they assert and “the meanings” they attach to those facts. Governor Brewer immediately comes to mind. But the same reaction can be seen across the ranks of professionals and non-professionals, spanning every public and civic and private institution and every community. Understanding this inevitable dynamic, where can pro-immigrant advocates find the most sophisticated and reliable data? And how can they convincingly frame the best data in an environment where anti-immigrant and racist forces routinely fabricate and exaggerate empirical claims? What does hard-earned experience say about how we can tap rich sources of information (universities, think tanks, government reports, discovery in lawsuits and public record requests) not only to counter propaganda but to enhance the chances of a just approach to immigration?

VII. Working Successfully with Law Enforcement

Working with law enforcement is a necessity and not a choice.  That will come as no surprise either to savvy activists or to administrative law theorists – or to those along[on?] the front lines fighting domestic violence.  According to both street and fancy wisdom, law enforcement officers exercise more discretionary power – provide more access to or denial of justice – than any other group in United States life.  Even those who question this wisdom would never deny the centrality of federal and state law enforcement in the current immigration crises: Especially in matters of public safety, the opinions of law enforcement agencies matter hugely to public perceptions, budgetary allocations, and policy formulations. What does it take to work well with beat cops? With chiefs? With law enforcement associations or coalitions? What does it mean to understand varied law enforcement perspectives? From those who prey on undocumented residents to those who protect immigrants vulnerable to xenophobic harms?  Is it possible to work effectively with Border Patrol agents? With ICE? With federal and state prison officials? With Rikers Island correctional administrators and staff? With detention centers? Is it fanciful to imagine law enforcement as a major ally in the battle for just immigration practices and policies?

VIII. Ethical Questions & Quandaries
    Today’s environment is permeated with ethical dilemmas.  On a daily basis hard questions arise: What exactly can individual lawyers, bar organizations, and communities do as increasing numbers of lawyers and notarios abandon clients facing deportation proceedings?  Can lawyers train immigrants to advocate for themselves without fearing accusations of encouraging or supporting the unlicensed practice of law?  What advice should lawyers give health and other service providers confronted with policies restricting the help they can provide immigrants in need? Can local governments and their police opt out of Secure Communities? Can border patrol officers refuse to participate in programs that prove deliberately indifferent to the lives and well-being of people crossing the border? What legally can be done about growing anti-immigrant vigilantism? Yet where exactly do we look for guidance and support when there is a big mismatch between the codes of professional responsibility and many dimensions of on-the-ground rebellious work? And what does it mean, especially in today’s hostile environment, to develop a compelling rhetoric and rationale for “ethical borders”? In mundane and bigger-than-life moments, the very idea of morally principled practices has been put into issue – and mocked – by those who espouse “law and order” in order to “purify” the United States of undocumented immigrants. 

IX. Distinctive Practices and Roles – Understanding and Collaborating
    Even before the passage of SB 1070, the pro-immigrant advocates involved in the crisis included varied individuals and institutions, pursuing distinctive and overlapping practices. Think only of community organizers, public defenders, community-based non-profit lawyers, solo practitioners, Department of Justice lawyers, journalists, bloggers, faith congregations, think-tankers, notarios, attorneys advising law enforcement, national civil rights organizations, law school clinics, and international human rights advocates.  While it has become commonplace to speak of the importance of both mission and collaboration, what exactly would these individuals and institutions define as their mission?  With whom do they collaborate?  To what degree do their on-the-ground practices include working regularly with immigrant communities?  The failure to collaborate can show disrespect, squander resources, reduce effectiveness. In today’s environment such failures can doom heartfelt strategies.  Let’s not be naïve or misleading, though. Efforts to build resourceful networks often seem far more trouble than they’re worth: Shirkers, free-riders, turf-protectors, and self-promoters act like viruses; misunderstandings and disagreements plague even good-faith team efforts. And, at the most fundamental level, ostensibly compatible practices may proceed from deeply divergent assumptions and aspirations: Do community organizers and civil rights litigators share compatible visions? Do solo practitioners and think-tankers? Without hiding from difficulties and imperfections, where do we see effective collaboration in Arizona and across the nation? In building immigrant capacity? In deportation practice? In litigation? In criminal defense? In media strategies? Along the border? In state capitals or cities or towns or rural areas? How can we spread the insight and discipline (best practices) to all those already implicated in and necessary to effective pro-immigrant practices?

X. Management (Supervisors, EDs, Board of Directors)

Crises typically surface serious management questions: How well prepared was an organization to shoulder responsibilities? How adaptable were staffers to quickly changing circumstances?  How farsighted was a Board of Directors in picking leaders and shaping a team able to do well what they market themselves as doing well and to pitch in responsibly where voids need filling?  Anti-immigrant hysteria in the United States certainly qualifies as a crisis. Institutions, organizations, and managers have been severely tested.  If extraordinarily hard work yields satisfaction, many in the pro-immigrant universe still feel overwhelmed. And that of course means they cannot easily imagine focusing on management questions when they feel they can barely handle what’s in front of them.  But we are among those who reject as false the dichotomy between meeting everyday demands and scrutinizing long-term planning. Indeed, in our view, we are in the midst of an especially revealing period about management policies and practices. We should not hide what we can learn (“warts and all”) about ourselves and our institutions, and we must now filter through what we must do to make ourselves better still at what we claim to do. Just how well do our work communities (offices, organizations, coalitions) understand our philosophy of practice? Our mission? Our mix of projects and roles? Just how well does each individual meet her or his responsibilities? Contribute to effective team efforts? What exactly should be done to improve along each front – in terms of the necessary intermingling of vision and execution? What exactly explains obstacles to improvement? And, even when explanations are speculative, how can work with immigrant communities be demonstrably improved?

Panelists and Moderators Include:

Janese Bechtol (Chief, Domestic Violence Section, Office of the DC Attorney General)
Kip Bobroff (Lead Organizer, Albuquerque Interfaith)
Stephen Carpenter (Senior Staff Attorney, Farmers Legal Action Group & Senior Counsel, Office of the Monitor, Pigford Case)
Eric Cohen (Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
Jaime Farrant (Policy Director, Border Action Nework)
Michelle Fei (Co-Director, Immigrant Defense Project)
Tara Ford (Co-Director, Pegasus Legal Services for Children)
Laura Gomez (Professor of Law and Sociology, University of New Mexico School of Law)
Bill Ong Hing (Professor of Law, USF School of Law, General Counsel Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
Kirsten Holmquist (Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law
Angie Junck (Staff Attorney, Former New Voices Fellow, Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
William Kennedy (Managing Attorney, Legal Services of Northern California)
Teresa Leger (Partner, Nordhaus Law Firm)
Gerald P. López (Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law)
Shauna Marshall (Academic Dean and Professor of Law, UC Hastings School of Law)
Alfredo Mirandé (Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside; Solo Practitioner)
Russell Robinson (Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law, Visiting Professor UC Berkeley)
Mark Silverman (Director of Policy, Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
Janeen Steele (Executive Director, Learning Rights Law Center)
Mina Tran (Partner, Palmer & Tran)
Keith Wingate (Associate Academic Dean and Professor of Law, UC Hastings School of Law)

Organizer Bios:

Gerald López, J.D.
Professor of Law
UCLA School of Law
In 1975, after a clerkship with the Honorable Edward J. Schwartz, Gerald P. López joined Tom Adler, Roy Cazares, and Napoleon Jones in founding a San Diego law firm, specializing in criminal defense, civil rights litigation, and community mobilization. In 2003, he founded the Center for Community Problem Solving in New York City, working with low-income, of color, and immigrant communities to address social, economic, and legal problems. Professor López has served on the NYU, Stanford, and Harvard law faculties. Among the courses he currently teaches are Rebellious Lawyering Workshop, Reentry Clinic, Economic Development Clinic, Problem Solving Workshop, and Transforming Legal Education Workshop.  He has litigated extensively, as lead counsel in a wide variety of criminal and civil matters, before trial courts, appellate courts, and the United States Supreme Court. With others, he has championed a rebellious vision of progressive law practice – and of the problem solving of which lawyering is one example. He has published many acclaimed community-focused books, including Reentry Guide to New York City (2005); Streetwise About Money (2006); A Fair and Just Workplace (2006), and many articles on problem solving, race, immigration, health of undocumented Mexicans, and legal education. He is the author of Rebellious Lawyering (1992), an influential book about lawyering, progressive law practice, and community problem solving. While the Kenneth & Harle Montgomery of Public Interest Law, he helped found the Lawyering for Social Change Program at Stanford Law School, and he is currently a core faculty member of the UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program.  He has been honored with many community, civil rights, and teaching awards, including Stanford and UCLA’s Teacher of the Year, The Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence, the University Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching.

Bill Ong Hing, J.D.
Professor of Law
University of San Francisco School of Law and Professor Emeritus, U.C. Davis School of Law
General Counsel for Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Leading our faculty team will be Professor Bill Ong Hing. Widely regarded as the nation’s preeminent immigration lawyer and scholar, Professor Hing started his career as a staff attorney with San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation. He founded the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, one of the nation’s premier immigrant rights support center, and serves today as general counsel.  He has been a member of the U.C. Davis, Stanford, and U.C. Berkeley faculties and currently teaches Rebellious Lawyering, Immigration Law and Policy, Evidence, and Negotiation. He has authored many academic and practice-oriented publications on immigration policy and race relations, including Ethical Borders—NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration (Temple University Press, 2010), Deporting Our Souls-Morality, Values, and Immigration Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Defining America Through Immigration Policy (Temple University Press, 2004), and Making and Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy (Stanford University Press, 1993). His book To Be An American: Cultural Pluralism and the Rhetoric of Assimilation (NYU Press, 1997) received the award for Outstanding Academic Book by the librarians' journal Choice. Professor Hing has litigated extensively, including the precedent-setting Supreme Court asylum case, INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987), and he is regularly consulted and retained as an expert witness in high-profile cases including Guzman v. US Immigration Customs Enforcement and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (U.S. District Court, Central District of California 2009) (deported U.S. citizen sued the government for damages). He serves on the board of and advises many national civil rights organizations, including Migration Policy Institute and ACLU of Northern California. He serves as a research consultant for the Urban Institute and the National Council of La Raza and advises philanthropic organizations, including helping the Emma Lazarus Fund of the Open Society Institute distribute $50 million to promote citizenship among immigrants. He has been included on national panels of immigration experts, including the Citizens Advisory Panel of the Department of Justice, the Committee on Immigrant Children and Family Health, and the federal Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, whose proposals became part of the the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including testimony in 2002 relating to the creation of the new Department of Homeland Security. He is regularly quoted in major newspapers and national broadcast news, and his op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Tribune, and the Nation. In recognition of his advocacy and service, Professor Hing has been honored with a number of awards, including the Bay Area Asian Pacific American Law Student Association’s Outstanding Leadership Award (2009); Donald Cressey Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency (2008); Keepers of the American Dream Award, National Immigration Forum (2007); University Distinguished Public Service Award, UC Davis (2003); Justice in Action Award, Asian American Legal Defense Fund (2001).

Kip Bobroff, J.D.
Lead Organizer
Albuquerque Interfaith
Kip Bobroff is a community organizer.  He has devoted his career to public interest work and social justice.  After studying national and international public affairs at Princeton and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Mr. Bobroff graduated from Stanford Law School in 1994, where he was elected Order of the Coif and awarded a Public Service Fellowship.  In partnership with Levon Henry and sponsored by both Skadden and Echoing Green Fellowships, Mr. Bobroff  focused on Navajo landowners’ rights, helping individuals and family and the Navajo Nation deal with complex legal and political and cultural issues, especially through policy and community education.  Between 1997-2008, he served as member of the tenured faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he developed especially innovative courses on Federal Indian Law, educational reform, and clinical practice and wrote on Indian Law, including Retelling Allotment: Indian Property Rights and the Myth of Common Ownership (2001) and Dine Bi Beenahaz'aanii: Codifying Indigenous Consuetudinary Law in the 21st Century (2004-2005). In 2008, Mr. Bobroff  left law teaching to become lead organizer with Albuquerque Interfaith, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s oldest and most extensive community organizing network. 

Eric Cohen, J.D.
Executive Director
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Eric Cohen serves as the Executive Director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), a national non-profit legal support center, one of the nation’s most respected and influential immigration organizations. A 1986 graduate of Stanford Law School, Mr. Cohen has been a staff attorney with the ILRC since 1988, combining litigation, community education, and policy work.  He served for six years a co-supervisor of Stanford Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic, and he has extensive experience training attorneys and law students, including serving as faculty member in over 75 CLE trainings.  Mr. Cohen pioneered group processing efforts for amnesty applicants, and he has created a often-emulated curriculum on immigrant leadership development and civic participation. He has helped developed the ILRC’s voter education and civic engagement campaign, and has co-authored many of the ILRC's manuals and other publications, including Motions to Suppress, Naturalization and U.S Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide, and How to Successfully Appeal Naturalization Denials. And for nearly 20 years Eric has served as a liaison between community groups and the CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services). The ILRC – the organization Mr. Cohen leads -- builds the capacity of attorneys, paralegals, organizers, service providers, immigrants, and others by providing legal technical assistance, trainings, and publications; assists immigrants with civic engagement projects to help expand immigrants’ rights and political power; and conducts policy and advocacy work related to immigration law and immigrant rights. 

Tara Ford, J.D.
Pegasus Legal Services for Children
Tara Ford is the founder and Co-Director of Pegasus Legal Services for Children.  For nearly two decades, Ms. Ford has been involved in children’s legal issue, providing direct legal representation to children and their caregivers, even while as a student at Stanford Law School.  The very highly regarded organization Ms. Ford leads – Pegasus Legal Services for Children – is a award-winning non-profit agency that promotes, supports, and defends the rights of children to safe and stable homes, quality education and healthcare, and a voice in decisions that affect their lives. Ms. Ford and the Pegasus staff serve children, youth and their caregivers, especially through direct representation in administrative and court proceedings, community legal education, and policy advocacy.    Praised and honored by policymakers, the Bar, and client communities, Ms. Ford is a frequent speaker at national and state conferences regarding the important role of education in children’s lives; she often teaches as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law; and she regularly works with state and community stakeholders to develop policies that support children in New Mexico.  In 2009, Ms. Ford provided consultation services to the International Medical Corps in Jordan to provide recommendations regarding needs of children living in institutions, either as a result of dependency or delinquency.  And she and Pegasus have been honored with many awards, including the State Bar of New Mexico’s recognition of Ms. Ford in 2005 for her “Outstanding Contribution to People with Disabilities.”

Shauna Marshall, J.D.
Professor of Law and Academic Dean
Hastings College of Law
Shauna Marshall is the Academic Dean and a Clinical Law Professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.  Throughout her three decades as a civil rights litigator, clinical teacher, executive director, and dean, she has worked with colleagues, students, board members, funders, and clients and communities to foster effective collaborative decision-making.  After graduating from Washington University and UC Davis School of Law, Dean Marshall served for five years as a trial attorney for the US Department of Justice and then joined Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) as a civil rights lawyer.  Among her many significant achievements at ERA, she helped desegregate the San Francisco Fire Department through the strategic use of class action lawsuit, public education, and community mobilizing.  As Executive Director of the East Palo Alto Law Project, she introduced management policies and practices that enhanced the staff’s and community’s capacity to address economic development, housing, domestic violence, benefits, and immigration problems. As a clinical law professor, she has worked with her students to give voice to clients denied disability benefits, decent housing, and fair wages, and she has written path-breaking scholarship, especially in the field of legal ethics (Mission Impossible?: Ethical Community Lawyering (2002).  In her current role as Academic Dean, she works with all segments of the Hastings community to train ethical lawyers devoted to serving the public interest and the public good. Because of her extraordinary reputation as a gifted leader, teacher and lawyer, she is much sought out by this nation’s most prominent public interest organizations and law schools and universities, advising on wide range of managerial and ethical and pedagogical challenges.


August 26, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Truth Held Hostage: Dissecting the Lies About Kidnapping in Arizona

Proponents of Arizona's SB 1070 perpetuate the myth that "Phoenix is the number two kidnapping capital of the world." Not only is this claim patently untrue, but it ignores two inconvenient facts.

First, unauthorized immigrants are themselves the primary victims of kidnappings in Phoenix. And secondly, violent crime rates in Arizona have been falling for years, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Walter Ewing of teh Immigration Policy Center dispels the kidnapping myth and argues that the root of the problem is the broken U.S. immigration system, not unauthorized immigrants. Download Truth_Held_Hostage_082610[1]  Download The_Truth_About_Kidnapping_in_Arizona_082610[1]


August 26, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Death on the Border Continues

A NPR story reports on how authorities in Mexico are expressing shock at the discovery of a room strewn with the bodies of 58 men and 14 women. A wounded migrant says the victims were killed by a drug gang. The gang, started by former soldiers, is known to extort money from migrants.


August 26, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ICE Guidance on Handling Removal Proceedings

On Friday, August 20, 2010, ICE issued guidance on the handling of alien removal proceedings to increase efficiency from the issuance of a Notice to Appear through the entry of a final administrative order.  You may obtain a copy of the guidance by visiting this website:


August 25, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A record backlog in immigration courts

With the Obama "enforcement now, enforcement forever" approach to immigration firmly in place, there are more arrests and deportation proceeedings than ever.  The result:  "a record backlog in the immigration courts."  For more, click here.


August 25, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Linda Chavez vs. John Eastman on Birthright Citizenship and the 14th Amendment

What can be better than a conservative ddemolition derby?  Read Linda Chavez, who cites 14th Amendment citizenship expert Garrett Epps, aggressively ("Eastman is wrong") taking on Chapman's John Eastman on birthright citizenship.  GREAT STUFF!


August 25, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles from SSRN

Here are some new immigration articles from the Social Science Research Network ( 

"Alien Fears: Politics and Immigration Control" Dialogue, Forthcoming Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/73 MARY ELIZABETH CROCK, University of Sydney - Faculty of Law.  ABSTRACT:  This article explores the way that fear of the alien outsider has shaped the law and the national character in Australia. The ‘price of fear’ in the area of immigration control is particularly acute in managing the phenomenon of asylum seekers and irregular migrants presenting as ‘boat people’. The article critiques key aspects of policies introduced to deter and contain these people – namely mandatory detention, temporary protection visas and offshore processing. It considers also the broader impact of exclusionary policies in a multicultural and polyglot society like that of Australia – where one in four people are either overseas born or have an overseas born parent.

"AMultilayered Jurisdictional Patchwork: Immigration Federalism in the United States" MONICA VARSANYI, City University of New York.  PAUL G. LEWIS, Arizona State University (ASU); DORIS MARIE PROVINE; SCOTT DECKER, Arizona State University (ASU).  ABSTRACT:  This paper focuses on the immigration-related demands currently being placed on local police in the United States, and the emergence of what we call a “multilayered jurisdictional patchwork” (MJP) of immigration enforcement. The evolving relationship between layers of government involved in enforcing immigration laws, sometimes dubbed “immigration federalism,” has so far received more attention from legal scholars than from social scientists. Against this backdrop, we report results from nationwide surveys of city police chiefs and county sheriffs and intensive fieldwork in three jurisdictions. The enforcement landscape we describe is complicated by the varying and over-lapping responsibilities of sheriffs and city police, and by the tendency for sheriffs to maintain closer relationships with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities. We highlight the contradictions inherent in this patchwork through case studies of Mesa, Arizona; New Haven, Connecticut; and Raleigh, North Carolina. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of the MJP - for immigrants, for their communities, and for the evolving relationship between levels of government in the federal system.

"When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance" LICOS Discussion Paper No. 265 RUXANDA BERLINSCHI, Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance; JEROEN SCHOKKAERT, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE); JOHAN F. M. SWINNEN, Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - LICOS Center for Transition Economics, European Commission, DG.  ABSTRACT:  We analyze the effects of football player migration to foreign leagues on the performance of their home country national teams. We provide a theoretical model predicting a positive effect of migration on international football performance due to superior skills acquired by players choosing to migrate to foreign leagues. We test this prediction using recent cross country data on international football performance. In order to accurately measure the effect of skill acquisitions by migrating players, we construct a weighted migration index that takes into account the quality of the foreign league and the division in which national team players are employed. We find strong and robust support for the prediction that migration of players to foreign leagues improves international football performance of their home countries.


August 25, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Amid the Politics, Death on the Border Continues

L.A. Times headline
: "2010 may see new high in border-crossing deaths."

What kind of nation do we live in when people are dying while restrictionists are decrying "anchor babies" and we are debating the abolition of birthright citizenship?  Does anybody care about the deaths of human beings?


August 24, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Many Faces of John McCain

Julianne Hing writes for Colorlines:

It’s primary day in Arizona, and John McCain will likely defend his Senate seat against his opponent, talk radio host and former congressman J.D. Hayworth, with a comfortable double-digit lead. But it hasn’t been an easy road to election day for McCain, who faced ridicule from Hayworth over his past leadership on immigration reform and then decided to run to the right on the issue to reclaim Arizona voters’ confidence. It’s been an even more uncomfortable election season for people who often appreciated McCain as a voice of restraint and principle. How did we, or rather, McCain, arrive here?

In the last ten years McCain has gone from being one of the most visible Republican leaders advocating humane and comprehensive immigration reform to one of its most aggressive hawks. Listen to the core policy proposals McCain has pushed over the years, and there are three main pillars he’s always kept in steady rotation: legalization for the undocumented population currently in the country; some kind of guest worker program; and strict border enforcement. For immigration rights advocates these reforms are not interchangeable, but they are nevertheless cornerstones of McCain’s immigration platform. The policies he chooses to elevate, or discard, depend a lot on the political moment. McCain was a cosponsor in 2003, 2005 and 2007 of the DREAM Act. McCain once defended undocumented immigrants’ right to adjust their status and claim Social Security. It’d be unthinkable for McCain to publicly defend any of these today.. . .

What has shifted more than anything is the tone of McCain’s speech. McCain of the comprehensive immigration reform era spoke of immigrants with humanity and respect. McCain on the 2008 campaign trail was much less interested in embracing the topic so bravely, which led to the newer, uglier McCain of 2010, who regularly casts all border crossers as smugglers, drug dealers, murderers. McCain of 2010 praised Arizona’s SB 1070 and is singlemindedly focused on ramping up militarization of the border by flooding the region with National Guard officers, Border Patrol agents and surveillance equipment. He willingly vilifies immigrants where once he defended and included the population. Click here for the rest of the piece.


August 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Vinculan política con ola de odio

For a discussion of the spike in hate crimes against Latinos, the debate oiver immigration reform, and election year politics in La Opinion (n Spanish), click here.


August 24, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Simple Truth: When Parents Get Deported Citizen Children Fight to Survive

Latino America has a story "When Parents Get Deported Citizen Children Fight to Survive," by Erynn Elizabeth Reitmayer, which is well worth reading.  More than 5 million children currently live in the United States with at least one undocumented parent. Close to 75 percent of those children are U.S. citizens. When one or both parents are deported, children often have to choose between living with their immediate family — in another country — or living without them in the United States.


August 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)