Saturday, April 2, 2011

Deportation of Jamaicans with Mental Disabilities

From Amnesty International:

The Georgetown Law Human Rights Fact-Finding Team cordially invites you to the launch of our 2010-11 report:  Sent "Home" with Nothing:  The Deportation of Jamaicans with Mental Disabilities.

 The report examines the impact of U.S. deportation policies and practices on the human rights of deported persons with mental disabilities.   Through interviews with deported persons, mental health professionals, civil society representatives, and government officials, we explored the following:

(1) What are the conditions encountered by persons with mental disabilities during the process of deportation and reintegration; 

(2) How are these conditions affected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s policies and practices for deportation of persons with mental disabilities; and

(3) What further actions should be taken to advance the rights of persons with mental disabilities during the deportation and reintegration processes?

When: Friday, April 8th from 12:00 – 1:30pm
Where: 200 McDonough Hall, Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 
Lunch will be served.
RSVP here by April 5, 2011.  Questions? Contact Joanna Wasik at

If you can't make it in person but would like to join the presentation, please contact Joanna above and she will provide you with dial in instructions


April 2, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Help Stand Up for Immigrant Rights in Georgia

From immigrant rights allies in Georgia:

As some of you know, things in Georgia are getting really ugly, really fast. Our general assembly has been moving AZ style proposals, SB 40 and HB 87 along despite the strong opposition from the business and agricultural community.

In fact, today we learned that Russell Pearce is endorsing HB 87

We would really appreciate if you all could help us by making calls to Governor Nathan Deal 404-656-1776 and letting him know that the country is watching and Georgia would lose its international reputation as a welcoming state for business and tourists. We are focusing on the economic debate; hitting them in their pockets where it hurts! While most states have dropped these proposals including Mississippi, Georgia's legislators are still at it.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Here is a link to an online petition from


April 2, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 1, 2011

UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic Wins in Ninth Circuit on Bond Hearings

The UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic won a big detention case in the Ninth Circuit, with an opinion in Singh v. Holder by Judge Raymond Fisher and joined by Judges Susan Graber and Jay Bybee.  Here is the punchline:

"In Casas-Castrillon v. Department of Homeland Security, 535 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2008), we held that aliens facing prolonged detention while their petitions for review of their removal orders are pending are entitled to a bond hearing before a neutral immigration judge. In this appeal we address certain procedures that must be followed in those hearings to comport with due process. We hold as an initial matter that a federal district court has habeas jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to review Casas bond hearing determinations for constitutional claims and legal error. See Demore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510, 516-17 (2003). We also hold that, given the substantial liberty interests at stake in Casas hearings, the government must prove by clear and convincing evidence that continued detention is justified. We further hold that the immigration court is required to make a contemporaneous record of Casas hearings and that an audio recording would suffice."

Download UC Davis Clinic Victory

Professor Holly S. Cooper and law students Kelly Martin and Scott Grzenczyk (argued) of the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, Davis represented Vijendra Singh. 

Amicus briefs supporting Singh were submitted by Judy Rabinovitz (ACLU Foundation Immigrant’s Rights Project), Ahilan T. Arulanantham (argued) (ACLU Foundation of Southern California), and Jayashri Srikantiah (Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic).


April 1, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Article: Sorry Ma'am, Your Baby is an Alien: Outdated Immigration Rules and Assisted Reproductive Technology

Sorry Ma'am, Your Baby is an Alien: Outdated Immigration Rules and Assisted Reproductive Technology
 by Scott Titshaw, Mercer University School of Law.

Abstract: The growing use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) and legal recognition of same-sex relationships are raising questions regarding the recognition of parent-child relationships. State and foreign family law have been wrestling with these issues for decades, but U.S. immigration law is lagging far behind. So far, guidance exists on only one ART related issue under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA): whether a U.S. citizen transmits her citizenship to a child born abroad. Unfortunately, that guidance is contradictory. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) requires genetic kinship for citizenship transmission. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals focuses on the parents' marriage, requiring no genetic link between a child born in wedlock and a U.S. citizen parent. Married, different-sex couples are the most likely cohort to use ART to build a family. However, this issue may be even more important to same-sex couples. Since birth certificates are the primary evidence used to demonstrate a parent-child relationship, they are more likely to suffer from a genetic-relationship requirement. This article aims to resolve this and other issues regarding INA recognition of parent-child relationships stemming from ART. It briefly reviews the various ways that state laws have dealt with ART related parentage issues. It then explores the legislative, administrative and judicial history of the relevant INA provisions, paying particular attention to developments dealing with “legitimacy,” an issue that raised similar questions during the twentieth century. It argues for deference to state and foreign law in determining the parentage of children conceived through ART and whether the child was “born in wedlock. Suggested Citation Scott Titshaw. Sorry Ma'am, Your Baby is an Alien: Outdated Immigration Rules and Assisted Reproductive Technology , 12 FLA. COASTAL L. REV. - Symposium


April 1, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DHS Secretary: The Border is Safe and Secure!

The N.Y. Times reports that, in a speech today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano chastised critics, mostly Republicans, who have said that illegal crossings and drug violence are out of control on the southwest border. She said that inaccurate accounts of insecurity were hurting business in border cities like San Diego, El Paso and Tucson, where violent crime rates have dropped notably in recent years. “Enough is enough,” she said, speaking at the think tank, NDN. “Damaging information about border communities has been repeated often enough.”

April 1, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Passport Day: April 9

From the U.S. State Department:

Passport Day in the USA Offers Appointment-Free Saturday Service

On Saturday, April 9, the Department of State will host its third annual “Passport Day in the USA.”  U.S. citizens throughout the country can apply for a passport book or passport card at any one of the regional passport agencies or participating passport acceptance facilities, including post offices and clerks of court.  With summer vacation approaching, this event is the perfect opportunity to apply for a passport. 

The Department’s newest agencies in San Diego, El Paso, Texas, and St. Albans, Vt. will be open to the public on Passport Day.  Recently opened agencies along the southern and northern borders will also be open in Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Buffalo, N.Y., and Tucson, Ariz.  Public counters at facilities in Hot Springs, Ark. and Portsmouth, N.H. will be open as well.

Regional passport agencies will be open for extended Saturday hours.  For this day only, no appointment is necessary, and U.S. citizens without travel plans in the next 14 days may apply directly at a regional passport agency.  Both routine and expedited processing service may be requested.  Families should be aware that passports for children under 16 expire every five years.  Both parents and child need to appear or the non-appearing parent must submit a notarized “Minor Consent” form.

Many non-Department passport acceptance facilities around the country will also be hosting “Passport Day in the USA” events.  U.S. citizens can visit to find participating acceptance facilities in their area. 

The website also contains complete information about what is needed to apply for a passport, as well as the application fees, processing times, and regional passport agency and non-Department acceptance facility locations and hours of operations.  U.S. citizens may also call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TTY at 1-888-874-7793.

For press inquiries, call (202) 647-1488 or email


April 1, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Migrant Social Networks: Vehicles for Migration, Integration, and Development

Migration Information Source reports that mMigrant networks span the divide between origin and destination countries and profoundly impact the lives of migrants, their families, and their communities. Maritsa Poros of City University of New York explains how these social networks are formed, how they are utilized, and the effects they have on migration and development processes.


April 1, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Nativists Headed for Extinction?

Immigration Impact reports that newly released data from the 2010 Census reveal the rapid growth of something that is anathema to the nativist agenda: ethnic diversity. The data, analyzed in reports from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Hispanic Center, show that the numbers of Hispanics and Asians in the United States are rising fast. This does not bode well for the anti-immigrant ideology of nativist politicians and their followers. Immigrants account for more than one-third of Hispanics and nearly two-thirds of Asians. Plus, more than one-quarter of both Hispanics and Asians are the native-born children of immigrants. As Hispanics and Asians come to comprise more and more of the population—and the electorate—nativists will become ever more marginalized.


April 1, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

St. John's Clinic and Catholic Charities Community Services Obtain Victory for Immigrant Child

Students in the St. John’s University School of Law’s Child Advocacy Clinic recently obtained a novel appellate court decision on behalf of an unaccompanied minor from Mexico who found himself in immigration detention in New York, unable to access state-run foster care because the County refused to file a dependency case on his behalf. St. John’s, partnering with Catholic Charities Community Services, litigated a private party dependency case as a last resort. Clinic students worked every aspect of the case, from pre-filing to the opposition to the County’s motion for leave to appeal to New York Court of Appeals. An article in the New York Law Journal describes the case in greater detail, as does St. John’s website.

The decision is the first time New York's child protective statutes have been applied to a child in immigration detention.

According to Jennifer Baum, Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic, the client, a shy 17 year old from a rural town in Mexico, is taking full advantage of his opportunity to study for his GED, obtain work authorization, and learn and perfect his English.


March 31, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stopping Deportations Before They Start

From Raj Jayadev (SV De-Bug) and Angie Junck (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Padilla v. Kentucky – arguably the most important U.S. Supreme Court decision to date in terms of the nexus between local criminal courts and federal immigration laws. This is also the first week of renewed freedom for Jeysson Minota, a 28-year-old legal permanent resident from Colombia who had been in and out of federal detention centers for the past four years due to charges stemming from graffiti. His detention and his ultimate freedom tell the story of the need and possibility of the Padilla standard.

In the Padilla case, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution requires that criminal defense counsel provide affirmative and competent advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal disposition to noncitizen defendants. The advice is critical to defendants like Minota.

The criminal act that got Minota in the scopes of Homeland Security was vandalism. As a younger man, Minota was a graffiti artist and had plead to a felony charge of vandalism. Immigration and enforcement claimed that vandalism is a ”crime of moral turpitude,” thus being a deportable offense, even though Minota was a greencard holder.

Had his previous lawyers informed Minota that a guilty plea could lead to deportation, he may not have been in detention for four years. Because he did not plead guilty to his more recent misdemeanor criminal charge he was able to eventually win another green card and a new start in the United States, in immigration court. Had he plead guilty to the seemingly innocuous charge, one that would have carried no extra jail time, it would have been equivalent to an immigration death sentence triggering permanent deportation and separation from his U.S. citizen wife, two children, mother, and siblings. Instead, Minota took his case to trial, and with the advocacy of his public defender, was found innocent. The win gave his immigration attorney a shot to keep him in this country.

But as with any legal device, the decision from Padilla v. Kentucky is a measure of protection that only has value if exercised. There are two glaring and systemic roadblocks that make cases like Minota’s, even with the Padilla decision, more the exception than the rule. Both though can be overcome through legal education and expanding the lens of community advocacy. Read more...


March 31, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has released Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries 2010.  Here are some of the highlights:

• 358,800 asylum applications were recorded in the 44 countries included in this report. This is 20,000 claims or 5 per cent less than in 2009 and 2008 (about 378,000 claims for each year). The 2010 level is the fourth lowest in the past 10 years.

• The 38 countries in Europe received 269,900 claims, a decrease of 6 per cent compared to 2009 (287,800 claims).

• The relative importance of Europe as a destination region for asylum-seekers declined in recent years. In 2005, the 38 European countries covered by this report received almost 60 per cent of all asylum applications worldwide. By 2009, this had fallen to 45 per cent.

• The 27 Member States of the European Union registered 235,900 asylum claims in 2010, a 5 per cent decrease compared to 2009 (247,300). The EU-27 together accounted for 87 per cent of all asylum claims in Europe.

• In Europe, the largest relative decrease in annual asylum levels was reported by the eight Southern European countries which received 33,600 asylum requests during 2010. This is a 33 per cent decrease compared to 2009. This decrease is mainly due to fewer individuals requesting international protection in Malta (-94%), Italy (-53%), and Greece (-36%).

• In North America, an estimated 78,700 new asylum applications were submitted in 2010, 3,600 claims or 4 per cent less than in 2009.

• With an estimated 55,500 asylum applications, the United States of America was the largest single recipient of new asylum claims among the group of countries included in this report. France was second with 47,800 asylum applications, followed by Germany (41,300), Sweden (31,800), and Canada (23,200). The top five receiving countries together accounted for more than half (56%) of all asylum claims received in the countries included in this report.

• Slightly less than half of all asylum claims were submitted by individuals originating from Asia (45%). Africa was the second most important source continent (25% of all claims), followed by Europe (19%), and the Americas (8%).

• With 28,900 asylum claims lodged in 2010, Serbia (including Kosovo) was the most important source country of asylum-seekers in the 44 countries included in this report, followed by Afghanistan (24,800 claims), China (21,600), Iraq (20,100), and the Russian Federation (18,900). 


March 31, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Seton Hall University School of Law, Center for Social Justice Position Available for Clinical Instructor Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic

Seton Hall University School of Law, Center for Social Justice Position Available for Clinical Instructor Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights ClinicJune 2011 to June 2012, expected renewal for one additional year Posted March 25, 2011

The Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University School of Law, located in Newark, New Jersey, is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for a full-time Clinical Instructor to teach in its Center for Social Justice from June 2011 until June 2012, with the expectation of renewal for a second year dependent on grant funding and performance. The Center is home to eight clinics, as well as the International Human Rights/Rule of Law Initiative, the Urban Revitalization Initiative, and a large pro bono program. The clinics focus on the following areas: constitutional and civil rights, education and prison reform, equal justice, family law, immigration and human rights, impact litigation, juvenile justice, and predatory lending and foreclosure.

The Clinical Instructor will work with Professor Lori Nessel, Director of the Center for Social Justice and Professor of Law in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, to supervise immigration and human rights litigation in the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic.

The focus of this position is on the immigration work. The Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic specializes in litigation, reporting, and advocacy on immigration matters, particularly as they impact immigrant workers in New Jersey. The Clinic also handles asylum, U visas, T visas and international human rights litigation and advocacy work. Because the clinic is part of a broader International Human Rights/Rule of Law Project, the Clinical Instructor may also collaborate with other clinics and with a practitioner-in-residence. The Clinical Instructor position is a year-round position that includes co-teaching a clinical seminar and supervising approximately eight students per semester during the academic year and responsibility for managing the immigration and human rights docket, including primary case coverage, during the summer. We seek candidates with distinguished academic records, excellent written and oral communication skills, practice and teaching experience, as well as a strong commitment to public interest law and clinical legal education.

Applicants should have at least 7 years of practice experience in the field of immigration, or a combination of immigration and labor or international human rights, as well as an interest in clinical teaching. All applicants must be members of a state Bar; New Jersey bar membership is preferred but not required.

 This is not a tenure-track position and cannot be converted to a tenure-track line. The position includes a competitive salary and compensation package. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Review of applications will begin March 28, 2011, and will continue until the position is filled.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, list of three references, and a writing sample to Patrice Smiley Andrews, Administrative Director, Center for Social Justice, Seton Hall University School of Law, 833 McCarter Highway, Newark, New Jersey 07102 or via e-mail to For more information on the clinical programs with the Center for Social Justice, visit the Center’s website at For more information on Seton Hall University School of Law, see Seton Hall University is an affirmative action, equal employment opportunity employer.


March 31, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

6th Annual Conference on Catholic Legal Thought

The 6th Annual Conference on Catholic Legal Thought will take place at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, May 17-19.  On May 17 we will spend the afternoon with Paul Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke discussing "The Essential St. Augustine fr 21st Century Lawyers and Law Professors.  To facilitate the discussion we are asking participants to read "Augustine:  Political Writings," Adkins and Dodaro (eds), Cambridge Univ. Press 2001 and Books 2 & 19 from "The City of God."  SMU's George Martinez, who is familiar to many in the immigration law prof community, will be one of the respondents to Prof. Griffiths.  On May 18 we will have sessions on "The City of Man:  What role should law play in infusing the City of Man with the City of God?" and "Forgiveness and Conversion: What should be law's attitude toward treatment of post-conviction criminals."  And, on May 19, Steven Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at San Diego wlll present his book, "The Disenchantment of Secular Purpose," which should be read in advance to prepare us for a robust discussion.

To request a registration form and full conference schedule please email Michael Scaperlanda at

March 30, 2011 in Books, Religion | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arpaio's New Folly: Operation Desert Sky


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio plans to hold another one of his controversial crime suppression sweeps, but this one has a twist.

It's called Operation Desert Sky, and it'll last for several weeks. It'll also cover a much broader area and use fixed wing planes to spot smugglers from the air.

Arpaio said he wants to seal the Maricopa County border from drug and human traffickers, and he's confident the operation will lead to arrests.

Arpaio promises that this operation will not disrupt normal law enforcement operations because armed volunteers and deputies from the human smuggling and drug enforcement units will work it.

Deputies and qualified volunteers will carry M-16s and other guns, including a 50-caliber machine gun.

Repeat after me: Sheriff Joe has got to go!


March 30, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A New Architecture for Border Management

The fifth plenary meeting of the Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration focused on assessing the most effective approaches to bringing greater order and legality to migration, border management, and labor systems. And today, MPI is pleased to release the first paper commissioned as part of the Council’s November 2010 meeting, “Restoring Trust in the Management of Migration and Borders.”  In their report, A New Architecture for Border Management (Download Borderarchitecture[1]), MPI President Demetrios Papademetriou and European Policy Fellow Elizabeth Collett sketch the emergence of a new border architecture resulting from the explosion in global travel and the dawning of the age of risk. This new border architecture must respond effectively to the seemingly competing demands of facilitating mobility while better managing the risks associated with cross-border travel (e.g. terrorism, the entry of unwanted migrants, and organized crime). The report examines the information-sharing agreements, technology innovations, and multilateral partnerships that have emerged as key components of the new architecture for border management, and discusses challenges and considerations for the future. Among the other works also informing the Council’s deliberations were a report assessing the transatlantic data-sharing agreements and negotiations that have emerged in the post-9/11 era, and an analysis of US border control programs since the mid-1990s.


March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Broken Trust: Domestic Violence Against Immigrant Women and Children a Collateral Consequence of New Local Immigration Enforcement Measures

Broken Trust from Enlace Comunitario on Vimeo.

Many state and local governments have sought to blur the lines between regular law enforcement and immigration enforcement. The consequence of this has been that immigrant domestic violence victims have become fearful of law enforcement, making all of our communities less safe. Enlace Communitario, an Albuquerque-based non-profit, has developed this video designed to raise awareness of how these policies are imjuring innocent women and children.



March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Review of Everyday Law for Immigrants


Check out Professor Won Kidane's review of Professor Victor Romero's book  "Everyday Law for Immigrants.Here is Profesor Romero's response.


March 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Viva Vives!!! From Undocumented Child to Pulitzer Prize Contender

Listen to a Southern California Public Radio story about L.A. Times reporter Ruben Vives, who was almost deported as undocumented immigrant but went on to graduate collerge and is now contending for a Pulitzer Prize for coverage on the controversial goings-on in Bell city government.  For more on this story, click here.


March 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Department of Justice: Indicting Immigrants, Ignoring Wall Street Crooks

In a recent blog entry, former wall street executive Richard Eskow writes, "If you're a banker who bought your estate with the millions you made from mortgage fraud, relax. The Justice Department isn't looking for you. But if you're an illegal immigrant who's working on that banker's estate, look out. The Department of Justice is ignoring your boss and devoting most of its resources to catching you." To read the whole blog click here.


March 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Security First Argument is a Red Herring

From the Center for American Progress:

The “Border Security First” Argument: A Red Herring Undermining Real Security
Assessing DHS Progress and Looking Forward
By Marshall Fitz, Angela Maria Kelley, Ann Garcia

Opponents of comprehensive immigration reform argue that we need a fully secure border before we can systemically overhaul our immigration laws. Ironically, the “border security first” mantra is actually thwarting progress on border security.

This brief shows that the Department of Homeland Security met and exceeded stringent enforcement benchmarks that “border security first” supporters laid out in legislation that failed to pass Congress in 2007.

It is past time to put aside this tired expression and start working on comprehensive solutions to fix the system.

Read more and download this issue brief here.


March 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)