Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ninth Circuit on Involuntary Medication of Illegal Re-entry Defendant

Photo of Judges Reinhardt and Kozinski courtesy of Above the Law

In an opinion by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, and joined by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and District Judge Robert Timlin (C.D. CA), the Ninth Circuit held that the government had failed to satisfy the rquirements for medicating a defendant accused of a criminal re-entry offense for the purpose of rendering him competent to stand trial.

It is fair to say that Judges Reinhardt and Kozinski sit at very different ends of the ideological spectrum.  Both agreed on the outcome in this case, however.


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

America's Voice Online Fact Sheet: Immigrants and the Military

America's Voice Online has a helpful Fact Sheet: Immigrants and the Military. Immigrants have a proud tradition of serving in the military. Right now there are thousands of men and women in uniform who weren’t born in the United States, yet they are willing to sacrifice everything for our country. The Department of Defense understands the importance of the foreign-born to our fighting forces – one of the reasons it supports the DREAM Act.


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

Tea Party divided over immigration

Stewart Lawrence on the Daily Caller has an intreresting piece on divisions within the Tea Party on immigration, with the basic conflict being between the "free market" versus "rule of law" folks.


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

Mexican Journalists Flee Drug War, Seek U.S. Asylum

NPR has a report on how a journalist from Mexico fled violence and threats because of his reporting on the drug violence in Mexico and successfully sought asylum in the United States.  More Mexican asylum-seekers are prevailing now than in the past.  We will see if more Mexican journalists will be successful with their asylum claims. Professor Barbara Hines can be heard in this radio story.


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

Friday, September 24, 2010

Obama Will Not Use Administrative Route for Reform

Michael O'Brien writes for The Hill

President Obama suggested that he would not pursue reforms to the immigration system through regulations or other administrative policies.

The president said it was important for immigration reform to go through Congress, lest opponents of comprehensive reform use regulations as a political opportunity.

You know, it is a very difficult thing to do administratively, and because we want comprehensive reform, and because we want the Dream Act, what we don't want to do is give an excuse to the opposition to say, 'Obama's trying to do an end-run around Congress,' Obama said during an interview on Telemundo when asked what options he has to pursue immigration reform.

Obama has faced criticism from the Hispanic community for failing to follow through on his pledge to reform the immigration system. He told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) last week, though, that he would not walk away from reform, and called on Republicans to join him in passing legislation. Click here for the rest of the piece.


September 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

U Visa Webinar

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Assisting Family Members through the U Nonimmigrant Status Process Webinar
Thursday, September 30, 2010, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT (1.5 CA MCLE)


Sally Kinoshita, ILRC Deputy Director; Susan Bowyer, Attorney at Family Violence Law Center; Jessica Farb, Immigrant Victim Legal Services Coordinator, International Institute of the Bay Area; Catherine Ward-Seitz, Regional Immigration Coordinator at Bay Area Legal Aid

Deadline to register: 9/28/10

Click here to register

New! You can now purchase webinar recordings on CDs that can be viewed on your computer!

During this webinar, we will cover the various ways immigrant crime victims’ family members may obtain immigration benefits through U nonimmigrant status.  We will cover the definitions of spouses, parents, children and siblings, who can qualify as a direct victim, indirect victim, principal applicant or derivative, unique derivative duration of status issues, age out issues, who may obtain lawful permanent residency directly as a qualifying family member, and how to help family members through these processes.

See entire ILRC calendar and register:


September 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress on Immigration

220px-Stephen_Colbert_4_by_David_Shankbone Stephen Colbert testified today (in character) before Congress on immigration.  He testified about his participation in the UFW's Take Our Jobs campaign (and here) and picked crops in the field for a day.

Check out the video of Colbert's testimony by clicking on his name above.  Here is his written statement.

Although Colbert pokes fun in certain ways at Congress, the political process, and the contradictions in this nation's treatment of undocumented immigrants (and is assisted in the comedy inadvertently by Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), who asks a truly curious question about corn -- "We know corn in Iowa.")), he offered a poignant response to a question about why he is interested in the plight of undocumented immigrants -- he likes talking about people "without any power."  He added that: "Migrant workers suffer and have no rights."  All too true.


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

Concert: MALDEF Truth in Immigration Concert -- Los Lobos/Los Tigres Del Norte

The September 28  MALDEF Truth in Immigration Concert will feature two truly lengendary bands, Los Lobos and Los Tigres Del Norte.

Here is a Message from Los Lobos:

For nearly 35 years, we have enjoyed bringing you music from the heart that reflects on the value of Latino culture and heritage to the American way of life.

From our very first album "Si Se Puede!" to our most recent cd "Tin Can Trust", we have always reached back to our roots, because we understand the importance of community. As we have criss-crossed the U.S. over the years, we have come to appreciate the impact that music can have on our communities, particularly when our communities face tough challenges and the continued threat of intolerance.

Because of this, we jumped at the chance to partner with MALDEF for the Truth in Immigration Educational Concert to help shine the light of truth on the positive contributions Latinos have made to our nation.

Purchase your tickets today for MALDEF's Truth in Immigration Education Concert, featuring Los Lobos and Los Tigres del Norte on September 28 at Universal CityWalk.

Join us next week for a night of great music, fun and community as we celebrate the value and contributions of Latinos in the United States!

The concert will be held on September 28 at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk in Universal City, CA.


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

Thursday, September 23, 2010



Abel Barrera Hernández, the founder and Director of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña in Guerrero, Mexico will receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for his determined efforts to end human rights abuses resulting from military impunity and narco-violence. Mr. Barrera and his colleagues work under constant threat to protect the rights of peasants and indigenous peoples against forced disappearances, rape, arbitrary detentions, intimidation, dispossession of lands and illegal interrogations, and to improve their access to healthcare, legal representation and education.

 “Justice for the indigenous peoples of the Mexican mountains does not exist; it must be won inch by inch and confronting grave dangers. Those that seek a better life and organize to realize their human rights are sought out and assassinated,” said Abel Barrera Hernández.

The Tlachinollan Center, established in 1994, engages grassroots groups in the struggle for justice and the protection of human rights. The Tlachinollan Center’s expert staff use a broad array of tools, including legal aid, advocacy on public policy and psychological support for victims. “Tlachinollan” is an indigenous word for the mountainous region of east Guerrero and symbolizes the commitment of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center to serve the indigenous peoples of the “montaña” (mountain).

Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy will present Mr. Barrera with the 2010 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony in mid-November.

Mr. Barrera joins 41 RFK human rights laureates in 24 countries as the recipient of the 27th annual prize and multi-year partnership with the RFK Center. For 42 years, the RFK Center has worked for a more peaceful and just world.

The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award was established in 1984 to honor courageous and innovative human rights defenders throughout the world who stand up against injustice, often at great personal risk.


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

The Law and Politics of Taco Trucks

Professor Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez
 (Chapman) argues for a free market in tacos -- put more seriously, against taco truck regulation -- in this op/ed  Gustavo Arrellano ("Ask a Mexican") gives it a thumbs up. 

What do you think is motivating the latest spate of taco truck regulations at the local level, including by Los Angeles County?   Funny that we also are seeing a bunch of anti-immigrant ordinances at just about the same time.  Look for Ernesto's article explaining all of this, which will soon be on SSRN.


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

The Curious Case of Latino Republicans

Alvaro Huerta has an interesting essay "The Curious Case of Latino Republicans" on CounterPunch that examines the question of how Latinos can be Republicans when Republican candidates are taking anti-immigrant, anti-Latino positions in elections from coast too coast.


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

Programs in San Diego

Fall 2010 Research Seminar Schedule at University of California, San Diego

Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
State against Migrants: The Politics of Deportation in Germany and the United States
Antje Ellermann
Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of British Columbia
Tuesday, October 5
2 PM

Unauthorized Migrant, Information Policy, and Workplace Enforcement
Stephen Lee
Assistant Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine
Tuesday, October 26

Comparative Citizenship Laws: Recent Transformations
Patrick Weil
Director of Research, French National Center for Scientific Research
Centre d'Histoire sociale du 20ème siècle (université de Paris1)
Visiting Professor
Yale Law School
Tuesday, November 23

~All seminars will be held in the Eleanor Roosevelt Administration Building
conference room, #115.
These seminars are open to all members of the UCSD community, as well as faculty and students from other universities and the general public. For directions to CCIS, please visit our website. For further information, please contact Ana Minvielle at or 858-822-4447. 


September 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Busting the Stereotypes: Mexican New Yorkers Are Steady Force in Workplace

Kirk Semple in the N.Y. Times writes:

"In a time of widespread joblessness, Mexicans in New York have proved unusually adept at finding and keeping work. Of the city’s 10 largest immigrant groups, they have the highest rate of employment and are more likely to hold a job than New York’s native-born population, according to an analysis of the most recently available census data. They are even employed at a greater rate than Mexicans nationwide."


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

What rights do undocumented immigrants have when they become crime victims? One Immigrant Stands Up

A Salvadoran woman represented by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice is featured as the cover story of today's publication of the Independent Weekly.  Read about a courageous young immigrant who stood up to an Immigration official who attempted to use her undocumented status to sexually harass and blackmail her. 


September 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Arizona Students Defend Ethnic Studies Courses

From Mary Ann Zehr at Education Week:

Arizona's legislature and top education official are bent on shutting down ethnic-studies courses taught at Tucson Unified School District, but students in those courses say they hope their school district prevails in continuing to offer them. A video with Tucson students' viewpoints was just published at along with an article I wrote about the controversy over the courses.

Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, contends the courses teach Mexican-American students they are victims and foster hostility toward U.S. society. He's voiced that opinion as part of his campaign in running for state attorney general. He's landed the Republican nomination for that post.

Whether Tucson Unified is pressed to get rid of its ethnic-studies courses or not could depend on the outcome in Arizona of the Nov. 2 elections. John Huppenthal, who won the Republican nomination to take Horne's place as chief state school officer, has run radio ads promising to close down ethnic studies at Tucson Unified, according to local media. Penny Kotterman, who is the Democratic nominee for chief state school officer, has publicly spoken against the law passed by the Arizona legislature than aims to restrict ethnic-studies courses offered in Arizona (via Blog for Click here for the rest of the column.


September 22, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Napalitano Confirms: Local Communities Can Opt Out of Secure Communities

From Deportation Nation:

We recently asked, “Is it Really Possible to Opt-Out of Secure Communities?”

Now Deportation Nation has learned that Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano confirmed the opt-out process in letter sent Sept. 7 to Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).

Napolitano’s letter comes in response to an inquiry made by Lofgren in a July 27 letter to Napolitano and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about confusion over the opt-out process.

“The highest authority at the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed an opt out process,” said Sarahi Uribe, coordinator of a national campaign to stop Secure Communities called “Uncover the Truth.”

Secure Communities began enlisting local law enforcement agencies to share arrest data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in October 2008. A lawsuit filed this year by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Cardozo Law School and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network sought the release of information about the program.

“It’s a shame that in spite of Obama’s pledge of transparency, it took litigation and public pressure for Napolitano to clarify her agency’s position,” said CCR staff attorney Sunita Patel.

Napolitano’s letter confirms a process described in a memo ICE released in late August. Click here for the rest of the piece.


September 22, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Flores-Villar v. United States: Another Challenge to Gender Discrimination in the Nationality Laws

On November 10, 2010, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case (Flores-Villar v. United States), which ImmigrationProf peviously highlighted,  that raises a nagging issue that continues to arise.  The issue posed to the Court is whether the Court's decision in Nguyen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service  (2001) permits gender discrimination that has no biological basis?   Children born outside the country who have one U.S.-citizen parent can obtain U.S. citizenship if the citizen parent had been physically present in the U.S. for a certain period of time before the child’s birth. If the citizen parent is the father, the period is five years; if it is the mother, the period is one year. Does this differentiation violate the Equal Protection Clause?  The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Pamela Rymer (and joined by Judges Cynthia Holcomb Hall and Andrew Kleinfeld), held that it does not.


September 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Federalism Critique of 287(g) agreements

Here is an interesting federalism critique of 287(g) agreements:

"Federalism, States' Rights and Immigration Policy" APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper MARY MCTHOMAS. ABSTRACT:  There has been increased attention on state involvement in immigration policy, especially in light of the proliferation of state and local ordinances aimed at the detection and detention of undocumented migrants. Immigration is indisputably a federal issue. What is questioned is where and how to balance state police powers against federal prerogative to maintain a unified federal regulatory scheme. This issue tends to be framed in terms of state encroachment into a federal sphere pitted against states’ rights to protect their borders when federal immigration enforcement fails to do so. In either case, the picture painted is of the states attempting to garner more power. What remains unexamined is how the federal government is potentially overstepping its bounds through the use of 287(g) agreements. Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes state agents to perform immigration law enforcement functions. The resulting agreements between local and federal enforcement agencies essentially turn local agents into federal agents. I examine this practice in light of the devolution of federalism under the Rehnquist Court. Specifically, in Printz v. United States, the Court viewed the use of state agents to perform federal functions as a violation of the separation of powers that would essentially turn state officers – and by extension, the states - into puppets of the federal government. While not coerced into the 287(g) agreements, the states are still in the position of having their officers co-opted by the federal government. Hence, the states agreement to be involved in immigration enforcement may actually undermine their sovereignty.


September 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stanford Law Clinic Takes on United States: Supreme Court asked to review deportation of U.S. citizen

Here is Adam Liptak's description of the case for the N.Y. Times in which the U.S. government is accused of wrongfully taking her U.S. citizen daughter from U.S. citizen Monica Castro and then transporting the baby across the border with his undocumented father:

 "Ms. Castro later sued the government, saying the agents had no legal authority to detain, much less deport, her daughter. Nor should Border Patrol agents, she said, take the place of family-court judges in making custody decisions. The last court to rule in the case, the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, rejected Ms. Castro’s arguments, over the dissents of three judges. The brief unsigned majority decision, echoing that of the trial judge, said the appeals court did not `condone the Border Patrol’s actions or the choices it made.' But, the decision went on, Ms. Castro could not sue the government because the agents had been entitled to use their discretion in the matter."

Here is the cert petition in the case, which was filed by Pamela Karlan and Jeffrey Fisher at the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation ClinicDownload Castro cert petition

Coincidentally, the inaugural Central Valley Foundation/James B. McClatchy Lecture on the First Amendment at UC Davis will feature Professor Karlan. She will deliver a lecture discussing the recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign finance, television in the courtroom, and the rights of citizens who sign initiative petitions entitled "The Court, The Closet, and The First Amendment."


September 21, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Students Spell Out Messages on Immigration

Julia Preston of the N.Y. Times (with a pic) tells aboout a novel form of political activism by students in Miami: " Dozens of college students lay down on South Beach on Sunday afternoon, but not to sunbathe. Most were immigrants in this country illegally, and their bodies, fully clothed, formed giant letters that spelled out a message for Floridians and one of their senators, complete with a human exclamation point: Call LeMieux!" Senator George LeMieux, a Republican, had not stated a position on the DREAM Act.


September 21, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)