Saturday, November 6, 2010

Immigrant - LGBT Dialogue

Candidates being recruited for participation in an

Immigrant – LGBT Dialogue




Services Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) and Equality California are seeking LGBT participants who could benefit from a better understanding of the issues confronting immigrants in Silicon Valley and immigrant participants who could benefit from a better understanding of the issues confronting the LGBT community. It is desirable to be active in your community. 

Goals of the Dialogue:

        ·Improve understanding around LGBT and immigrant issues
        ·Create a space for getting to know each other
        ·Take action on whatever dialogue members unanimously agree to

Format of the Dialogue:  

        ·Meeting for dinner from 6 to 6:30 pm and for dialogue from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
        ·Introducing concerns of immigrant and LGBT communities
        ·Allowing participants to choose their own areas of inquiry / concern
        ·Ending each session with “what we can agree on” statements
        ·Providing the space for new action steps  if the participants so choose

Three Things You Should Know:

        1. The dates of the dialogue are on Monday evenings:  Nov. 15, 22, and 29 and Dec. 6.

        2. If you sign up to participate in this unique opportunity you will be asked to sign a commitment to be at all four dialogues.  If you cannot make 1 of the 4, please do not sign up.

        3. To assure commitment and an equal number of  participants a commitment form must be completed.

To receive the commitment form or for further information please contact Richard Hobbs, Associate Director of SIREN, at, 408-460-2999, or Chris Riley, Silicon Valley Field Manager of Equality California, at, 408-569-6320.

Did You Know?

About 24,000 gay and lesbian couples in the U.S. include at least one foreign partner.

Co-sponsored by Equality California, Service, Immigrant Rights and Educational Network (SIREN), and the Office of Human Relations of Santa Clara County.


November 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Xoloitzcuintli - No more borders

No more borders 1 (1 of 1) 

Xoloitzcuintli - No more borders

Chris Faltis

November 5, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Federalism and State Criminal Laws affecting Immigrants

Federalism at Work: State Criminal Laws, Immigrants and Immigration Related Activities

A conference at Loyoloa Law school New Orleans today:


1-1:30 p.m.  Keynote:  Bill Ong Hing, University of San Francisco School of Law
SB1070 and the New Federal-State Anti-Immigration Regime

1:30 – 3:30 PM  Federalism in Theory: Constitutional Limits and Practical Implications
Searching for a (New?) Theory of Criminal Law Federalism: What the Immigration Debate Reveals about the Limits of Doctrine and Theory
 Jennifer Chacon, University of California, Irvine School of Law

The Constitutionality of Criminalizing Unlawful Immigration Status
 Karla McKanders, University of Tennessee College of Law

When State Courts Meet Padilla: Unrealistic Burden, Mandate for Specialization, or the Supreme Court’s (Inadvertent) Way of Throwing Immigrants Under the Bus?
César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, Capital University Law School

Using the Pardon Power to Prevent Deportation – Legitimate, Desirable, or Neither?
Nora V. Demleitner, Hofstra University School of Law
Moderator: Johanna Kalb, Loyola University College of Law

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.    Break

3:45 – 5:45 PM  Roundtable: Federalism in Practice – National and Local Perspectives
Ths panel will explore state criminal law enforcement of immigrants and immigration related activity from a national and local perspective.
 Ray T. Diamond, Louisiana State University Law Center
 Ingrid Eagly, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
 The Honorable Joe Harrison, Louisiana House of Representatives
 Hiroko Kusuda, Loyola University College of Law
Moderator: Andrea Armstrong, Loyola University College of Law

This is an era of unprecedented immigration enforcement.  Never before in the history of the United States has the government removed so many noncitizens in so short a time frame.  Between 2003 and 2008, the U.S. government removed 1,446,338 noncitizens from the United States … For every noncitizen who receives a formal order of removal, another four depart “voluntarily” as a result of their encounters with the immigration enforcement bureaucracy.  At the same time, federal prosecutions of immigration crimes in criminal courts have reached an all-time high.  Over the past five years, immigration crimes have risen to the top of the list of federal prosecutions, and now make up more than half of the federal criminal docket.”
Jennifer M. Chacon, 40th Annual Administrative Law Issue:  Immigration Law and Adjudication:  A Diversion of Attention?  Immigration Courts and the Adjudication of Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights, 59 DUKE L.J. 1563 (2010).

Notwithstanding the federal focus on immigration enforcement, in the past decade, states have sought to play a more active role in immigration enforcement and, in particular, in deterring or punishing undocumented or unauthorized migration.    To some extent, federal immigration law facilitates cooperative state initiatives in law enforcement undertaken under federal supervision.  Federal immigration law also depends heavily on state criminal law in determining who is deportable and who is not.  Many state legislatures or municipalities, however, have gone further and enacted statutes that regulate immigration related activities or the status of being an undocumented or unauthorized noncitizen.   One example is the ordinance adopted by the City of Hazleton, which among other things prohibited landlords from knowingly letting, leasing or renting a dwelling unit to an “illegal alien” and prohibited employment of undocumented aliens.  That ordinance has been enjoined as preempted by federal law.   See Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 18835 (3d Cir. Sept. 9, 2010).  Previously, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had concluded that a statute that prohibited employment of undocumented noncitizens by denying employers a license to do business in the state was not preempted.   Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. v. Napolitano, 558 F. 3d 856 (9th Cir. 2009), and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.   Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 5321 (June 28, 2010).   More recently, states have enacted statutes that impose criminal sanctions on a variety of immigration related activity.  Perhaps the most famous of these initiatives is Arizona SB 170.  At least, one Louisiana legislator has promised to introduce a similar statute for adoption in Louisiana.

This symposium examines the role that state criminal law has or should have in the context of immigration, immigration related activities and unauthorized or undocumented migration.  Speakers on the first panel will address the use of state criminal law to heighten, complement or independently accomplish state immigration related goals, with state initiatives such as the Hazleton ordinance or Arizona’s SB 170.  Speakers will also consider what role state initiatives may play in ameliorating the draconian effects of the heightened immigration enforcement at the federal level, such as using executive pardons as a way to avoid or impact the deportation of noncitizens whose state conviction may result in their deportation.  Speakers will discuss, as well, the interaction between the federal and state governments, exploring the issue of preemption, an issue likely to be settled by the Supreme Court this term, at least with regards the type of state regulation at issue in the Candelaria case.  Speakers may also explore the role of race and national origin at the intersection of criminal and immigration law in the state context.

The second panel features law professors with expertise in immigration, criminal justice and constitutional law, and with practice expertise.  In addition, some of the panelists are well versed in how these issues have played a role in Louisiana law enforcement and in the Louisiana legislature.   The panel will explore issues raised by the presentations as well as issues that have been raised in the national and local dialogue on immigration.  Both panels will reserve time for questions from the audience.


November 5, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Who Will Stand Up for the Truth About Immigration?

We will...will you stand with us?

From the American Immigration Council:

Dear AILA Colleagues:

With your support the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has become the premier source for the truth on immigration. When policymakers want to know the facts, they come to us.  When politicians peddle fear and lies, we will stand up for the truth! After this week's elections, we need your support now more than ever.

As a non-partisan organization, it is not important to us which party controls the House, Senate or White House. What is important is that the lawmakers now responsible for crafting, debating and voting on immigration policy are armed with the facts, and that there is an honest debate about immigrants and immigration in America. 

There are more than 100 new members of Congress reporting for duty in January and it is our job to provide them with information, based on extensive non-partisan research, they can use to stand up for the truth and challenge their misinformed colleagues. This is our opportunity to create a strong educated caucus of Members that we can count on to make decisions based on common sense and facts and turn the tide of immigration reform.

With the change of leadership in the House, Rep. Steve King will be the new Chairman of Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.  Unfortunately, Rep. King has been woefully misinformed on the issue of immigration.  He has a history of distorting the truth and advocating harmful policies that are based on fear not facts.

Now that Rep. King has the gavel, we hope he will take his Chairmanship seriously and lead the upcoming conversations on immigration with respect for the truth. But if he doesn't the IPC is prepared to speak truth to power.

We have our work cut out for us, but with your help we can make this happen. An education campaign of this magnitude means more resources and more staff time are needed at the Immigration Council.  Contribute online  or through your AILA dues renewal TODAY to ensure that we have the funds necessary to give our lawmakers the tools they need to govern effectively.

Thank you!

Ben Johnson
Executive Director
American Immigration Council


November 5, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

World-Renowned Canadian Poker Player Terrence Chan Denied Entry into U.S.


Photo Courtesy of Poker

In what sounds more like an occurrence out of a Kafka novel, star poker player Terrence Chan was denied entry to the United States twice for seemingly inexplicable reasons. According to a Poker News Daily article, Chan attempted to cross the United States-Canadian border, something he has done routinely over the years. But on October 28th, when asked about the reasons for his visit, Chan was denied entry for failure to show ties to his home country. The immigration officer told him he could try again after showing proof that he wouldn't remain in the United States longer than he claimed.

After gathering documents that would ostensibly demonstrate that he intended to return to Canada, including property documents and bills, Chan was denied entry yet again. Describing the incident on his blog, Chan noted:

"it was apparent their mind was already made up, even with me having put together all my paperwork. They went through every piece of paperwork I had and found something wrong with it in one way or another. I had last month's internet bill in Vancouver and my electric bill in Hong Kong; they now told me I needed six months of bills. They said I needed credit card statements with activity to prove I was spending time in those places. They said I needed a job with pay stubs, and they said that that job had to be where I was physically present, such that it would not be possible for me to do it in the States. They didn't like that my plane ticket from Vancouver to Hong Kong was only for two months, even though neither of those places is in the United States. He even tried to twist my words of 'I'm going to train martial arts' as meaning that I was going to work illegally. 'If you don't have a visa for that, you can't come in.' "

Chan, who wowed the international poker world with two simultaneous victories in the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), and has participated for six years running in the World Series of Poker (WSOP), now asserts that he will never return to the United States again. Chan ended his blog entry with:

"This isn't a knee-jerk reaction of anger. This is me saying that I cannot in good conscience support this country with my tourism dollars Goodbye, America. It's been fun, and I'm sad it had to come to this, but we're through. It's not me -- it's you."

By-line: This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of top online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

November 5, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Republican Congress likely to Pursue "Enforcement Now, Enforcement Forever" Immigtation Law and Policy

It is no surprise but the U.S. House of Representatives, with a Republican majority, will likely pursue enforcement-oriented immigration policies.  For details about the playeres, etc., click here.

Will the Sensenbrenner Bill make a comeback, as well as the mass marches of 2006?  Stay tuned! 


November 5, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

What an immigrant would say to Boehner

In "What an immigrant would say to Boehner" by Edward Schumacher-Matos, an immigrant explains by letter immigration and immigrants to possible new Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner.


November 5, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Asian American Voter Exit Polling

AALDEF 2010 Exit Poll of 3,500 Asian American Voters:

Strong Approval for Dems in Northeast, Support for Republican Govs in the South

New York...While Asian Americans strongly supported Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New York Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, Asian American voters in Georgia and Texas mirrored the broader electorate by favoring Republican candidates for Governor, according to preliminary results of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) exit poll released today.  AALDEF conducted the five-state multilingual exit poll of over 3,500 Asian American voters in collaboration with 30 national and local community groups, the largest nonpartisan poll of its kind in the nation.

The 2010 exit poll was conducted in five states with large or fast-growing Asian American populations:  New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas and Georgia.  The five largest Asian ethnic groups polled were Chinese (42%), South Asian (25%), Korean (17%), Filipino (6%), and Vietnamese (3%).  Among those polled, 60% of Asian Americans were registered Democrats, 19% were not enrolled in any political party, and 14% of Asian Americans were registered Republicans.  

In the traditionally Democratic northeastern states of New York and Massachusetts, Asian Americans voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates Andrew Cuomo in NY (Cuomo-82%, Paladino-13%) and Deval Patrick in MA (Patrick-84%, Baker-14%).  Cuomo won the election 61% to 34%, and Patrick was re-elected with a 6-point margin, 48% to 42%.  In New York, AALDEF's exit poll was conducted at 18 poll sites in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.  In Massachusetts, AALDEF polled voters at 4 sites in Boston and Lowell. 

In a carefully-watched New York State Senate race, Democratic candidate Tony Avella unseated long-time Republican incumbent Frank Padavan in Senate District 11 in Queens.  Padavan had been criticized by community groups for his anti-immigrant positions.  According to a local poll conducted by AALDEF community partner MinKwon Center for Community Action, 89% of Korean American voters favored Democratic candidate Avella, and 11% of those polled supported Padavan.  Avella defeated Padavan by 53% to 47% of all district voters.

In Pennsylvania, among Asian American voters polled at 4 sites in Philadelphia's Chinatown and Upper Darby, PA, 78% voted for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato, with 18% supporting Republican candidate Tom Corbett. Corbett won 54% of the Pennsylvania vote, with 45% for Onorato.

Asian American voter preferences in Texas and Georgia more closely reflected the broader state electorates that have traditionally favored Republicans.  Asian American voters favored the re-election of Republican Governor Rick Perry by a small margin (Perry-50%, White-48%); Perry was re-elected by a vote of 55% to 42%.  In Georgia, Asian American voters favored Republican candidate Nathan Deal (50%) over Democratic candidate Roy Barnes (46%).  Deal won the gubernatorial election 53% to 43%.  Asian American voters in Texas were surveyed at 7 poll sites in Houston and Sugar Land.  In Georgia, the AALDEF exit poll was conducted at 4 sites in the Atlanta area:  Suwanee, Doraville, Norcross and Duluth.

AALDEF also monitored almost 50 poll sites for compliance with the Voting Rights Act and Help America Vote Act (HAVA).  Volunteer attorneys checked the provision of Asian-language ballots, interpreters, signs and voting materials, which are required in certain districts; improper requests for voter identification, and whether provision ballots were offered to Asian Americans whose names did not appear on voter lists.  Examples of voting problems observed on Election Day included:

New York
-Widespread complaints about the illegible paper ballots in New York City, because Chinese/Korean characters and English-language fonts were too small

-In Manhattan's Chinatown, I.S. 131 had only English and Korean-language voting instructions available for the predominantly Chinese American voters at this site. 

-Asian American voters complained about rude conduct by poll workers at I.S. 131 in Manhattan's Chinatown and P.S. 94 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn

-Despite federal mandates under the Voting Rights Act, several interpreter shortages were reported, including at P.S. 20 in Manhattan's Lower East Side (no Chinese interpreters; 3 required); P.S. 12 in Woodside, Queens (2 Chinese interpreters; 4 required)

-At Benjamin Franklin House in Philadelphia, an Asian American couple came to vote; the wife's name was on the voter list, her husband's name was not.  Poll workers turned away the husband and did not give him a provisional ballot, as required under HAVA.

-At Lowell Elementary School in Philadelphia, Khmer and Vietnamese translators were not present at the poll site.  When Cambodian American voters asked for assistance, poll workers did not know what to do or referred them to some hotline without any instructions. 

-Also at Lowell Elementary School in Philadelphia, an Asian American voter needed her son to help her vote because she was limited English proficient.  She was told to wait over an hour until after several others voted.

The 2010 multilingual exit poll was conducted at 34 poll sites in 8 languages and dialects:  Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu, and Gujarati.  AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988.  In the 2008 Presidential elections, AALDEF polled 16,665 Asian American voters in 11 states. Copies of AALDEF's past exit poll and election monitoring reports can be found at under "Voting Rights."


November 4, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hazleton and Beyond: Why Communities Try to Restrict Immigration

In Hazleton and Beyond: Why Communities Try to Restrict Immigration from the Migration Information Source, Kevin O’Neil of Princeton University has analyzed the types of immigration laws local governments considered between 2000 and 2009 and what prompted them to pursue such policies. Among his findings:

• Rapid growth in an area's immigrant population was the best predictor of restrictive action. Once the percentage-point change in the foreign-born population share after 1990 is considered, the size of the immigrant population itself appears to be unimportant.

• About 107 US towns, cities, or counties have approved policies intended to regulate immigration or limit its effects on the local community, while 193 localities have seriously considered such policies. California and Pennsylvania had the largest number of restrictive policy proposals (22 each).

• The most common type of restrictive policies sought to control employment. These laws generally had the goal of sanctioning employers who hired unauthorized workers or imposing additional verification requirements on local employers and/or holders of contracts with the local government.

• Since 2007, localities have moved away from aggressive proposals modeled on the Hazleton, Pennsylvania law. Instead, they have implemented policies that brought less controversy or invited less constitutional scrutiny, and they have mandated use of federal government tools like E-Verify.


November 4, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Five Ways to Move Forward on Immigration

Philip E. Wolgin has posted a piece on Huffington Post entitled "Five Ways to Move Forward on Immigration."  With Republican control of the House dimming hopes of comprehensive immigration reform in the next two years, Wolgin suggests five changes to U.S. immigration law that should be taken up by Congress.

Pass the DREAM Act

Pass the AgJOBS Bill

Fix the EB-1 Visa Category

Fix the Bar on Material Support for Refugee Status

Eliminate the 1-year Bar on Asylum Claims


November 4, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: The Two Faces of American Freedom by Aziz Rana

The Two Faces of American Freedom
, published by Harvard University Press, boldly reinterprets the American political tradition from the colonial period to modern times, placing issues of race relations, immigration, and presidentialism in the context of shifting notions of empire and citizenship. Today, while the U.S. enjoys tremendous military and economic power, citizens are increasingly insulated from everyday decision-making. This was not always the case. America, Aziz Rana argues, began as a settler society grounded in an ideal of freedom as the exercise of continuous self-rule—one that joined direct political participation with economic independence. However, this vision of freedom was politically bound to the subordination of marginalized groups, especially slaves, Native Americans, and women. These practices of liberty and exclusion were not separate currents, but rather two sides of the same coin. However, at crucial moments, social movements sought to imagine freedom without either subordination or empire. By the mid-twentieth century, these efforts failed, resulting in the rise of hierarchical state and corporate institutions. This new framework presented national and economic security as society’s guiding commitments and nurtured a continual extension of America’s global reach. Rana envisions a democratic society that revives settler ideals, but combines them with meaningful inclusion for those currently at the margins of American life.

Aziz Rana
is Assistant Professor of Law at Cornell Law School.


November 4, 2010 in Books, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Human Rights Review


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer courtesy of her campaign website

My colleague, Professor Diane Marie Amann, has a post on IntLawGrrls about the session tomorrow in Geneva at which the United States' human rights record will be scrutinized by the Human Rights Council. The post links to a Washington Post article that mentions the controversy over the U.S. government's decision to list the Arizona immigration law (SB 1070) as an area of human rights concern.  According to the Post, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who was re-elected on Tuesday, characterized the review process as "internationalism run amok."


November 4, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hazleton, PA Mayor Headed to U.S. House, Immigration Reform Gridlock in the Cards?


In reporting the election news yesterday, I failed to mention that Republican Lou Barletta, the Mayor of Hazelton, Pennsylvania -- home of an anti-immigrtant law that has been struck down as unconstitutionalwon a U.S. House seat in Pennsylvania that was in Democratic hands for 26 years. Lou Barletta defeated Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski after losing to him in 2002 and 2008.

Barletta was a very vocal supporter of Hazelton's immigration law and has promised to seek review in the U.S. Supreme Court of the court of appeals' decision striking it down.  He has laid out "tough on immigration" positions on his campaign website.

We can only hope that the new members of Congress are not as hawkish on immigration as Barletta.  Even if that is the case, we can expect the new Republican House of Representatives to press an enforcement-first (and only?) approach to immigration reform.  Such an approach will be out of synch with that of the U.S. Senate and President Obama and makes some kind of comprehensive immigration reform more difficult. For further analysis, click here.


November 4, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good News From Kansas (Except for Kansas): Law Prof Kris Kobach Elected Kansas Secretary of State

In blogging about the elction earlier in the day, I neglected to point out some good news for people -- at least those outside of Kansas -- who are committed to reasonable and responsibible immigration reform and enforcement.  The Kansas voters yesterday elected Law Prof Kris Kobach to the Secretary of State post.    Accoriding to the Kansas City Star, "Kobach . . . said he would give up his position as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City."

Kobach's election presumably will mean that he will now spend less time traveling across the United States assisting state (such as Arizona) and local governments in enacting anti-immigrant laws and conjuring up ways of keeping undocumented students out of public universities and colleges.


November 3, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Guest Post, Andrew Wainer, Immigration Policy Analyst, Bread for the World Institute: Xenophobia 101

“We need immigration reform…We must assert our values and reconcile our principles as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. That is a priority I will pursue from my very first day.” – Sen. Barack Obama, June 2008

These can be frustrating times for immigration reform advocates. In spite of President Obama’s pledges and a streak of national interest early this year due to Arizona’s restrictive immigration law, momentum for policy change has waned.

In the near term comprehensive reform is all-but-impossible and incremental reforms like the DREAM Act and AgJobs – while more realistic – face daunting obstacles. Just about everybody has been blamed for the stalemate: the President, Republicans, ill-advised immigration advocates, and so on.

But in a democracy public opinion is vital to policymaking. It’s clear that right now that the American public is more enthusiastic about border enforcement than earned legalization. In turn, border enforcement is popular among policymakers because a majority of Americans support it. While polling is often contradictory – for example, it also reveals support for some sort of legalization program – the data on immigration show a clear public preference for border enforcement.

Politicians rarely put the blame on the public. As Sen. John McCain adviser Mark Salter recently stated, “Not too many voters like to be told there’s something wrong with them.” But the nation’s attitude toward immigrants will need to shift before major reform happens.

Unfortunately, one of the core elements shaping Americans’ views on immigration is xenophobia. Not all opposition to immigration is driven by xenophobia, but it is certainly a contributing factor. Scholars describe xenophobia – also known as nativism – as, “An intense opposition to an internal minority on the grounds of its foreign (‘un-American’) connections.”

To some extent, the psychological element of our attitudes to immigrants is hardwired in all of us. The targets change based on the prejudices of the day, but the fear is constant. That’s why in 1855 xenophobia exploded as an anti-German riot in Louisville, Kentucky that killed at least 22; in 1871 as an anti-Chinese riot that killed least 20 immigrants in Los Angeles; and today as the restrictive legislation symbolized by Arizona’s SB 1070 that is directed primarily toward Mexican immigrants.

Another interesting take on xenophobia describes it as “discriminatory potential” activated and escalated by a sense of threat. Researchers note that negative views of immigrants come from “fears of diminished economic resources, rapid demographic changes, and diminished political influence.” Another researcher states that “immigrants can offer an emotional outlet for fear when both the internal and external affairs of a country are unstable.”

Sound familiar?

Theories on the causes of xenophobia vary. As noted above, one is economic: outsiders are seen as challengers for limited economic resources. This is particularly true regarding poor immigrants who are viewed as a drain on public resources. Another is values-based: immigrants bring different beliefs, morals, and attitudes that are not compatible with American values. In any case, xenophobia takes an emotional toll on its targets: Recent polling indicates that two-thirds of Latinos feel they are being discriminated against and a plurality believe that this is due to the current anti-immigrant mood in the country. In addition to the economic challenges, cultural adjustment in what can be a hostile environment is linked to depression and suicide among recent immigrants.

Although the short-term prognosis for immigration reform is grim, over the long-term the across-the-political-spectrum consensus that something has to be done bodes well for gradual change. That’s why education and communication are key and perhaps even more important now. Although politicians can’t tell voters they are wrong, advocates can. Immigration reform will probably not occur with a single dramatic legislative action. It’s more likely to happen one-step-at-a-time and it will be facilitated by long-term, broad-based public education and outreach that defuses our ingrained impulses that tend toward fear.

Andrew Wainer is Immigration Policy Analyst for the Bread for the World Institute.

November 3, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tom Tancredo Trounced in Colorado Gubernatorial Race, Anti-Immigrant Candidates Fail


Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will be Colorado's next governor. Hickenlooper prevailed over American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo.  A staunch anti-immigrant advocate, Tancredo formerly was a U.S. Representative.  Republican Dan Maes finished a distant third.

According to the Denver Post, as of this morning, Hickenlooper was leading with 50.5 percent of votes cast; Tancredo garnered 36.8 percent; and Maes had 11.2 percent.

Tancredo's campaign website states that, as Governor, he would "Secure Colorado" through these steps:

• Implement tough new Arizona-style interior and employer enforcement laws.

• Withhold state funds from local governments that enact so-called "sanctuary policies"

• Oppose providing taxpayer subsidized in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants.

• Audit state and local government compliance with state immigration laws.

 Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who also had endorsed Sharron Angle for Senate in Nevada and Christine O'Donnell for Senator in Delaware -- both of whom were unsuccessful in their runs, had endorsed Tancredo.  In a taped telephone message to Colorado voters, Palin said that, among other things, Tancredo would continue to fight "against illegal immigration."

More generally, anti-immigrant candidates other than Tom Tancredo also failed to carry the day -- a day in which Dems were running for the hills (if not the border).  Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle had promised to wage war on  the "illegals" while California Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman experienced a Latino Waterloo after Nicky Diaz, a long-time Whitman household (and undocumented) worker emerged and told the world that Whitman had thrown her out like garbage.  Both scared the heck out of Latino voters and both lost on Tuesday to Democrats (Senator Harry Reid and former California Governor Jerry Brown) who many thought were extremely vulnerable.


November 3, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Law Section Program at AALS Annual Meeting

Nancy Morawetz, Chair –Elect, of the Association of American Law School's Section on Immigration Law has announced that, at the AALS annual meeting in San Francisco this January, the Section on Immigration Law will host a panel discussion on immigration detention and due process. The program will be on Saturday, January 8th at 8:30 A.M.  Here is a description of the program:

Due Process in the Era of Mass Immigration Detention

During the past two decades there has been a surge in immigration detention. Today, the detention system is massive and growing. Although nominally a system of civil detention, it operates under norms developed for incarceration. Detainees are held in a sprawling complex of local jails, federal detention centers and private facilities and are routinely transferred between facilities. These detainees are processed through a variety of mechanisms. Some will appear before an immigration judge and may later pursue administrative appeals and judicial review. Others will face administrative removal orders or reinstatement of old removal orders by deportation officers with limited review. Still others will be encouraged to stipulate to removal while they are being held in custody.

The panel will explore due process questions in this system of mass detention. The panelists will look at whether due process can be achieved without a right to counsel and whether there are reforms short of such a right that can improve due process. The speakers will be:

Raha Jorjani, University of California School of Law at Davis

Anil Kalhan, Earl Mack School of Law at Drexel

Peter Markowitz, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law David Martin.

Principal Deputy General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security (on leave from University of Virginia School of Law)


November 3, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

SF Giants Reinvigorate a Truly American Tradition

From Mark Silverman of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

I have seen Giants play baseball since the team moved to San Francisco when I was 12. So like almost all of us in the Bay Area, I am thrilled that the Giants won the World Series.  Another reason this is important to me is that the victory helps to strengthen one of our uniquely American traditions – baseball,.  This is very welcome in a time in which truly parts of our heritage in the United States like St. Patrick’s Day and pizza are being overshadowed by Cinco de Mayo and chalupas.  So I would like to thank some of the players that have helped strengthen this American tradition by winning the World Series:  Renteria, Lincecum, Uribe, Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Freddy Sanchez, Molina, Posey, Torres, Huff, Lopez, Mota, Ramirez, Romo, Velez., and Sandoval. Today  I (as well as they) should be proud to be Americans


November 3, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

SF College Student Faces Deportation

Steve Li, a 20-year-old City College of San Francisco student, was chasing his goal to open a medical clinic serving the immigrant community, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials knocked on the door of his apartment. Now he faces deportation to a country where he has no friends or family. "One day I was getting ready to go to school to see my friends and teachers, and the next day I was locked in jail with criminals and gangsters and being treated like I wasn't a person," he said during a telephone interview with the S.F. Chronicle from a detention center in Florence, Ariz.

Li, whose legal name is Shing Ma Li, was born in Peru but came with his family to the United States on a tourist visa in 2002.  Li's parents, Ma and Xin Guang Li, 55, emigrated from China to Peru in the late 1980s to escape financial hardships and the country's one-child policy. Steve Li was born in the Peru and the family later fled because of political instability. They applied for political asylum but were denied in 2003 and they lost their appeal in 2004.

More than 7,000 Facebook users have signed up to support Steve Li in the last week and a half.


November 3, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Evelyn Cruz on U.S. v. Quintana

U.S. v. Quintana No. 09-2749 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 22404 October 28, 2010


Mr. Diaz-Quintana was stopped by a Highway Patrol Trooper in North Dakota for driving 88 m. p. h in a 75 m. p. h zone on August 22, 2008 at 2:30 in the afternoon. Mr. Diaz-Quintana identified himself produced a Mexican driver’s license, and identified the passenger as his adult son. Mr. Diaz-Quintana indicated that the car, with Washington license plates, belonged to a relative and that they were returning to Washington from a funeral. The trooper summoned a second officer who had a drug dog. The officer with a drug dog arrived at 2:53. The dog sniffed the car and did not alert. The trooper also contacted the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol ran a check on Mr. Diaz-Quintana’s name and no records came back. The Officer questioned Mr. Quintana as to his immigration status and he answered that he had entered with a visa. A second run of the record using variations of the name was conducted, but no records came back. The Border patrol told the trouper to take Mr. Diaz-Quintana into custody at 3:20. Twenty-six hours after the initial traffic stop the Border Patrol picked up Mr. Diaz-Quintana. The Border Patrol agent ran Mr. Diaz-Quintana’s fingerprints through the Border Patrol’s IAFIS/IDENT system and it returned a hit for a Saul Rojo-Flores who had been deported for two drug convictions, and subsequently removed twice following illegal reentry.


Mr. Diaz-Quintana filed a motion with the district court seeking to suppress his statements to the Border Patrol and evidence derived from his detention by the Border Patrol. He failed to submit any evidentiary support for his motion. In opposition, government attorney submitted the affidavits of the trouper and the border patrol agents. The district court denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing.

On appeal to the 8th Circuit Mr. Diaz-Quintana again argued that the trooper and Border Patrol agents violated his Fourth Amendment rights by unreasonably prolonging a valid traffic stop for over twenty four hours to ascertain his immigration status. He argued that the stop was a de facto arrest and custodial detention without probable cause. The government conceded that the only reason for prolonging Mr. Quintana’s detention was to ascertain his immigration status.

In analyzing the case, the circuit court first discussed the relevant law. A noncitizen may be arrested and detained pending a decision whether he is removable, but only if a warrant is issued. (INS v. Lopez-Mendoza 468 U.S. 1032 (1984)) However, Border Patrol agents are authorized to conduct warrantless interrogations of persons believed to be aliens as to their right to be in the United States. 8 USC§1226(a) The Border Patrol can also arrest a person who may flee before a warrant is secured. 8 USC §1357(a) Moreover, the court pointed out, the regulations distinguish between warrantless arrests to commence civil deportation proceedings (8 CFR §287.8) from warrantless arrests for criminal violations of immigration laws. (8 CFR §287.3) Finally, civil immigration arrests are not covered by the protections of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

In this case, Mr. Diaz-Quintana’s argument that the district court committed plain error by not holding an evidentiary hearing was dismissed because he had failed to raise questions about the officers’ testimony in his motion to suppress. Mr. Diaz-Quintana admitted to the officers that he was a Mexican national by providing his Mexican drivers license. The circuit court found that the Border Patrol agent had probable cause to take Diaz-Quintana into administrative custody at the conclusion of the traffic stop based on the officers’ account of the events and the fact that Mr. Diaz-Quintana did not challenge the agent’s inference or data in the initial records search. The court held that the trouper was authorized to assist the Border Patrol by holding Mr. Diaz-Quintana until the Border Patrol agents could pick him up the next day. Finally, the Border Patrol could verify Mr. Diaz-Quintana’s identity by running his fingerprints through the Border Patrol’s IAFIS/IDENT system. (8 USC §1357(g)(10)(B) Since the detention was less than 48 hours, it was within the regulations and not excessive. (8 CFR §287.3(d)) Finally, the government did not have to prove that use of the IAFIS/IDENT system was the quickest means of investigating whether or not Mr. Diaz-Quintana was in the U.S. legally.

November 2, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)