Saturday, June 25, 2011

Will the Real Terrorists Please Stand Up Screening July 26

From the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law:

Dear friends,
We are writing to you to attend the screening of an important new documentary “Will the real terrorist please stand up,” directed by Emmy Winner Saul Landau.
The screening will coincide with the release of the documentary to the public and is the first time that it will be shown in Los Angeles. “Will the real terrorist please stand up” shows that US-backed violence against Cuba continued for decades. Some Bay of Pigs participants and the most well-known terrorists appear on camera to boast or re-evaluate their activities over the years. Orlando Bosch, Jose Basulto, Luis Posada Carriles and Antonio Veciana discuss assassinations and other actions they took to bring down the Revolutionary government. The new film, with Danny Glover, Cuba's top counter spy and Fidel Castro himself (filmed recently) is combined with fascinating archival footage and a rare recorded interview from prison with one of the Cuban 5. These men are serving long sentences in US prisons for trying to stop terrorism against tourist sites in their country.
Date: Tuesday July 26
Time: 7pm
Place: Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica.
$10 entrance fee
Q@A with Saul Landau
This event is organized by Cinema Libre Studio and co-sponsored by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.


June 25, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Law Profs Honored for Work in Supreme Court Watershed Decision in Padilla v. Kentucky


For their work on the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Case Padilla v. Kentucky, Penn Law Professors Stephanos Bibas and Yolanda Vázquez have received the 2011 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Bibas and Vázquez were among a twelve-member team of pro bono attorneys selected for excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law for their work on Padilla. Students in Penn Law’s Supreme Court Clinic, which Bibas directs, also worked on the case. The Padilla team was presented with the award on June 16, 2011 during the AILA’s Annual Conference in San Diego, CA. Click here for more details.


June 24, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stop blaming immigrants by Alvaro Huerta

Alvaro Huerta argues that we should "stop blaming immigrants" for the ills of the day, whether it be the wildfires in Arizona or the subprime mortgage crisis.


June 24, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Not Every DREAMER Gets Straight A's

Earlier this week, Kevin Johnson posted the story on the New York Times Magazine coming out essay by Jose Antonio Vargas, a prominent journalist who turns out to be an undocumented DREAMER. I've known and supported Jose in his efforts for several months now, and I applaud his courage in coming forward to promote the passage of the DREAM Act and other comprehensive immigration reform measures.

I've posted one of my reactions to Jose's essay on Huffington Post:

Jose Antonio Vargas' story is remarkable. He disclosed in a New York Times Magazine essay that he is an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines who learned of his true status at the age of 16 when he applied for a driver's permit. In spite of that challenge, he became an award-winning journalist, having worked for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, written for an array of other top-flight media outlets, and interviewed a number of high-profile newsmakers.

Without doubt, Jose is a special talent with a special story; he's using that profile to advocate on behalf of other undocumented young men and women who have attended high school in the United States and could benefit from the enactment of the DREAM Act. If passed, the Act would grant lawful status to these undocumented young adults if they complete at least two years of college or military service and fulfill other conditions. Democratic leaders tried to get the DREAM Act passed in the lame duck session of Congress in December, and although the legislation passed in the House, Harry Reid fell five votes short in a Senate cloture vote.

Turns out that I'm helping to represent another DREAMer (as many such young adults are commonly referred to) who is currently age 16 and facing deportation. Ernesto (a pseudonym) may not have the remarkable accomplishments that Jose has to his credit, but I sense that given the opportunity, Ernesto also can contribute importantly to our society. Like many children born in Mexico, his parents brought Ernesto across the border surreptitiously several years back. Mexico's economy shed jobs as a result of NAFTA and the country's inability to compete in agriculture and manufacturing with world trade compact nations like China. So Ernesto's parents and many others crossed the border in search of work to feed their families.

. . .

For every Jose Antonio Vargas or Ernesto, we are very likely to encounter DREAMers who are not near the top of their class, but they are here at any rate because their parents are dreamers as well. Their parents' dreams may appear simple and clichéd, but they are true nonetheless: to make an honest living for an honest day's work, to put food on the table, to be part of a safe community, to instill strong family values, and to send their children to school out of hope for a better tomorrow. Like Jose and Ernesto, they too are remarkable for getting their families here out of sheer determination to lead a productive life. Read more...


June 24, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Yick Wo at 125: Four Simple Lessons for the Contemporary Supreme Court" by MARIE A. FAILINGER

Yick Wo at 125: Four Simple Lessons for the Contemporary Supreme Court" Michigan Journal of Race & Law, Forthcoming MARIE A. FAILINGER, Hamline University School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  This article by Matie Failinger, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Yick Wo decision, recounts the legal struggles of Chinese immigrants at the turn of the 20th century and proposes that these stories provide four lessons for the U.S. Supreme Court about the importance of refusing to countenance class discrimination, persisting in striking at legal injustice, considering legislative purpose in context, and taking account of the property assumptions that color cultural battles in discrimination cases.


June 24, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: American Dream in the 21st Century edited by Sandra Hanson and John White

The American Dream in the 21st Century edited by Sandra Hanson and John White
The American Dream has long been a dominant theme in U.S. culture, one with enduring significance, but these are difficult times for dreamers. The editors of and contributors to The American Dream in the 21st Century examine the American Dream historically, socially, and economically and consider its intersection with politics, religion, race, gender, and generation.

The conclusions presented in this short, readable volume provide both optimism for the faith that most Americans have in the possibility of achieving the American Dream and a realistic assessment of the cracks in the dream. The last presidential election offered hope, but the experts here warn about the need for better programs and policies that could make the dream a reality for a larger number of Americans.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Making of and Persistence of the American Dream • John Kenneth White and Sandra L. Hanson

1. Twilight’s Gleaming: The American Dream and the Ends of Republics • Jim Cullen

2. The Politics of the American Dream, 1980 to 2008 • Michael C. Kimmage

3. The Presidency and the Making of the American Dream • John Kenneth White

4. Dreaming in Black and White • James W. Loewen

5. Whose Dream? Gender and the American Dream • Sandra L. Hanson

6. Want Meets Necessity in the New American Dream • John Zogby

7. Religion and the American Dream: A Catholic Reflection in a Generational Context • William V. D’Antonio

Conclusions: The American Dream: Where Are We? • Sandra L. Hanson and John Kenneth White


June 24, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

It is Campaign Season! Bring Out the Xenophobic Slurs


Check out this anti-Asian campaign ad by Mark Amodei, running for Congress in Nevada.  Needless to say, the ad has sparked controversy.


June 24, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Data about Latinos in the United States

Here are two new reports with a wealth of interesting statistical data about Latina/os in the United States:

U.S. Hispanic Country of Origin Counts for Nation, Top 30 Metropolitan Areas by Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center, and Daniel Dockterman, Research Assistant, Pew Hispanic Center

Hispanics of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban origin or descent remain the nation's three largest Hispanic country-of-origin groups, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. However, while the relative position of these three groups has remained unchanged since 2000, the next four Hispanic sub-groups grew faster during the decade. Hispanics of Salvadoran origin, the fourth largest Hispanic country-of-origin group grew by 152% since 2000. The Dominican population grew by 85%, the Guatemalan population by 180% and the Colombian population by 93%. Meanwhile, the Cuban and Puerto Rican populations grow more slowly—44% and 36% respectively.

Despite their No. 1 status, Mexicans are not the dominant Hispanic origin group in many of the nation's metropolitan areas. Among the Miami metropolitan area's 1.5 million Hispanics, half are Cuban. In the New York-Northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area, 29.4% of Hispanics are of Puerto Rican origin and 19.7% are of Dominican origin. In the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Salvadorans are the largest group, comprising one-third of the area's Hispanics. However, in many metropolitan areas, Mexican origin Hispanics are by far the dominant group among Hispanics. In Chicago, nearly eight-in-ten (79.2%) of the area's Hispanics are of Mexican origin. In the San Antonio, TX metropolitan area, Mexicans make up 91.3% of all Hispanics. And in Atlanta, GA, nearly six-in-ten (58.1%) Hispanics are of Mexican origin.   The data for this report are derived from the 2010 U.S. Census and from the 2009 American Community Survey. The 2010 Census provides population counts for Hispanic origin sub-groups. The 2009 American Community Survey provides detailed geographic, demographic and economic characteristics for each sub-group.


In Mexican and Central American Immigrants in the United States, authors Kate Brick, A. E. Challinor, and Marc R. Rosenblum examine the age, educational, and workforce characteristics of immigrants and the second generation from Mexico and Central America. Compared to the US born and other immigrant groups, Mexican and Central American immigrants are younger, more likely to be male, and more likely to be married with children, most of whom are native-born US citizens. They have lower education levels than the US born, and Mexicans in particular have the lowest levels of formal education of any immigrant group. Both Mexican and Central American immigrants also have lower levels of English language proficiency than other immigrants. Their workforce participation rates are very high, but concentrated in low-paying jobs; as a consequence, Mexican and Central American immigrants earn incomes lower than other foreign-born groups and substantially lower than their US-born counterparts. The fact that a high proportion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America are unauthorized supersedes all other considerations for some stakeholders in the debate, and sharply constrains these immigrants’ economic, social, and political opportunity structures.


June 23, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Out4Immigration at San Francisco Gay Pride Weekend

From Out4Immigration:

San Francisco Pride is here!  As with years past, Out4Immigration will be present at San Francisco Pride marching for equal immigration rights & talking to festival goers about our issue.

Marriage Equality USA has kindly offered some space in their marriage pavilion to Out4Immigration and GetEQUAL to talk to the festival goers. We are looking for volunteers to disseminate information about Out4Immigration and the issues we work on, collecting more signatures for our latest petitions, encouraging people to call Senator Dianne Feinstein (and their representatives), and recruiting more people for a rally in San Francisco on July 13th. 

We will be at the booth both Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th, from 11am to 6pm.


June 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration is Prime Issue for Latino Voters

Miriam Jordan writes for the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. immigration policy has eclipsed the economy and jobs as the top issue for Hispanic voters, according to a national poll released Monday.

Asked to name the most important issues facing Hispanics, 51% of respondents cited immigration. Another 35% said the economy and jobs, while 18% said education.

The poll of 500 Hispanic registered voters, both immigrants and U.S-born, was conducted by the independent research firm Latino Decisions and co-sponsored by Spanish language media company ImpreMedia.

"Our poll suggests immigration politics are now key to Hispanic voters," said Gary Segura, a professor of political science at Stanford University who runs Latino Decisions.

A poll conducted last November of the Hispanic voters by the research group November found 49% of all respondents put the economy and jobs first. Immigration was cited as the main concern by 23%.

As states like Georgia, Alabama and Arizona continue to pass tough laws to curb undocumented immigration, "this issue is going to continue to resonate with this electorate," said Mr. Segura. Read more...


June 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anti-Immigrant Poster Name and Anti-Immigrant Comment of the Day

Regular readers of the ImmigrationProf blog know that I often read comments to news articles on immigration to get a sense of the tenor of the immigration debate.  Here is a memorable "name" of a poster and comment on a Mother Jones article by Suzy Khimm on a tough immigration law passed by the South Carolina legislature that is awaiting Governor Nikki Haley's signature:


South Carolina is wise to defend themselves."

Who knew that a person who goes by "sickofspics" would be reading Mother Jones articles?


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


In SOUTH OF SILICON VALLEY, HUNGER HAUNTS HOLLISTER, David Bacon, an astute observer of migration and labor issues, tells us about Hollister, California, a place about an hour south of Silicon Valley, where executives flock from across the country for high-tech jobs.  In Hollister, there is another migration taking place: Mexican American families who come looking for work in the fields.

For more of Bacon's articles and images, click here.


Hollister 2 



June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Online Series Gives Undocumented Laborers a Voice


The bilingual technology and pop culture website Tek Lado has just published the first installment of a new series, "The Strip Mall Diaries," which gives voice to the marginalized community of undocumented laborers in Philadelphia. Because they live in fear of deportation, these workers are afraid to speak out about the challenges they face.

The series starts by talking to 41-year-old Jesús, from Ecuador, who rides his bicycle to a strip mall parking lot each morning (along with dozens of other men) in the hopes that a contractor will choose him for work. His life here is not what he expected when he left Ecuador. His disillusionment is profound. 


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

They Keep Coming: An Undocumented Immigrant Comes Out

Who would have guessed?  "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," Jose Antonio Vargas, a former reporter for The Washington Post who shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings, tells his story of coming to, and living in, the United States.  Vargas founded Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform.


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona Anti-Immigrant Firebrand Facing Recall

President of the Arizona Senate Russell Pearce, a vehement supporter of S.B. 1070 and related immigration measures, is facing a recall.


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Film: A Better Life


A new film, A Better Life, tells the story of a gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had.  As John Horn of the L.A. Times observes,  

"one of the central themes of `A Better Life,' which premieres Tuesday at the Los Angeles Film Festival and opens in limited release on Friday, is that . . . easy options [to common problems] aren't available to illegal immigrants. {Undocumented immigrants] may collectively sustain the mansions of Los Angeles, `A Better Life' argues, but individually they are as vulnerable as a house of cards."



June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: My Trials: What I Learned in Immigration Court [Kindle Edition] by Paul Grussendorf

My Trials: What I Learned in Immigration Court [Kindle Edition] by Paul Grussendorf

Judge Grussendorf began his career representing asylum applicants at the Central American Refugee Center in Washington, DC. at the height of the wars in Central America. He was then named director of the immigration law clinic at George Washington University Law School.  He later became an immigration law judge. Grussendorf's book is the first and only publication by an insider of the court system. He views the dilemma posed by the nation’s dysfunctional immigration court system with sober compassion. The book offers solutions both for immigration reform and reform of the courts; proposes a drastic overhaul of the country’s asylum system; and includes proposals for reform of legal education in America.


June 22, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Murky Immigration Law and the Challenges Facing Immigration Removal and Benefits Adjudication" by JILL E. FAMILY

"Murky Immigration Law and the Challenges Facing Immigration Removal and Benefits Adjudication" by JILL E. FAMILY, Widener University - School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  Immigration adjudication is more diverse than it may seem. Scholars tend to focus on one aspect of administrative immigration adjudication, the decision-making process established to determine whether an individual may be removed (deported) from the United States. But there is a whole other function of administrative immigration adjudication that relatively is ignored in the legal literature. Immigration adjudicators are also tasked with determining whether to grant immigration benefits, such as whether to grant lawful permanent resident (green card) status. Both types of administrative immigration adjudication, removal and benefits, are in crisis. This article explores the challenges facing each and argues that both crises are linked to a lack of transparency in immigration law. In the removal context, the lack of transparency is exemplified by the complexity of the law and by the negative discretion infused into the law. In the benefits context, the lack of transparency is exemplified by the use of administrative guidance to adjudicate benefits applications and by the obscurity of the administrative appellate adjudicating body, the Administrative Appeals Office. This lack of transparency presents big challenges for both removal and benefits adjudication, and once recognized, opens new lines of inquiry. In the removal context, the lack of transparency: (1) must be considered as a contributor to overwhelming caseloads; (2) highlights a lack of decisional independence for immigration adjudicators; (3) must be considered as a factor in the extreme lack of lawyers in the system; and (4) adds to the negative mystique surrounding immigration law. In the benefits context, the use of administrative guidance and the obscurity of the Administrative Appeals Office help to explain the confusion, uncertainty and extreme lack of confidence characteristic of the benefits adjudication system. The opacity of immigration law presents challenges to both removal and benefits adjudication. This connection suggests that the lack of transparency in immigration law is a broad and deep problem, and that this murkiness must be considered in crafting any reform. "How Arkansas Convictions are Treated for Immigration Purposes" Arkansas Law Notes, p. 159, 2010 ELIZABETH L. YOUNG, University of Arkansas School of Law Email: This article is a companion piece to "Immigration Consequences of State Criminal Convictions" published in the same edition of Arkansas Law Notes. It is intended to be an example of a basic analysis of how certain Arkansas Criminal Convictions are viewed through the federal immigration system. Part I explores how the INA defines a conviction, Part II synthesizes various conviction relief states in Arkansas and what affect they have in immigration law, and Part III describes how criminal convictions effect a foreign national in the United States. Although this article deals with specific statutes, it should in no way be considered dispositive in any given criminal case.


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

UC Davis Honors Student Gets Reprieve

Photo Courtesy of America's Voice

Yesterday, Mandeep Chahal, a pre-med honor student at UC Davis, and her mother faced imminent deportation to India early today.  The U.S. government has given them a reprieve and granted a stay of deportation.

A national campaign by America's Voice collected over 3,000 signatures on a petition asking the Obama administration to halt the deportation of the undocumented student who came to the United States at age 6 and was voted "Most Likely to Save The World" at Los Altos High School.   Read more (and here and here)on the case. 

News outlets have reported that Mandeep has spent two years at UC Davis, where she's studying to be a doctor "so she can remediate suffering in the Third World," according to her high school history teacher. She served as president of her high school Amnesty International chapter and has helped a nonprofit, One Dollar for Life, raise money from students across the country to build a dozen Third World schools. Chahal and her mom fled Punjab in 1997, where Kaur had been persecuted for being politically active. They entered the United States to join Chahal's dad, a legal U.S. resident, and Mandeep's mother applied for asylum. The case has dragged on for more than six years.

Fortunately, Mandeep's story appears to have had a happy ending -- at least for now.  Her case, however, demonstrates the need for Congress to pass the DREAM Act as well as to enact immigration reform.  And it raises many questions about the current focus on immigration enforcement in the United States.

Why on earth would we want to deport a college honors student -- and graduate of one of our public high schools -- who, by all appearances, would be a contributing member of American society (and the economy)?

How can we as a nation put Mandeep and her family through this frightening ordeal with the threat of removal from the only country that she really knows hanging over her due to no fault of her own?  Recall that Mandeep was brought her at age 6.

This is precisely the kind of case that Immigration & Custom Enforcement Director John Morton last week has said should be low priority for removals.  Aren't there better uses of our enforcement resources than trying to deport Mandeep and her mother?


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant Rape Survivors: The Target of Contempt

Human Rights Now
responds to Massachusetts GOP Representative Ryan Fattman's "shocking announcement that he is willing to let rapists roam the streets with impunity—that is, as long as the victim is an undocumented woman."  Here is the powerful conclusion:

"The refusal to acknowledge discrimination in law or practice as the primary underlying issue in the U.S. immigration system leads the government and society to be willfully blind to the abuse, exploitation, and conditions of slavery many immigrants experience in the U.S.

And in an environment in which the loudest voices are permitted to make false accusations and call for cruel and disproportionate measures based on underlying racism and xenophobia, incendiary remarks remain unchallenged and invisible to the vast majority of people."


June 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)