July 2, 2011
Immigrant of the Day: Gurpreet Singh (India)
Our Immigrant of the Day is Cpl. Gurpreet Singh, a resident of the greater Sacramento, California area who was serving his second tour with the Marines in Afghanistan when he died on June 22 of injuries suffered during combat. Born in 1989 in the Punjab in India, he immigrated to the United States with his family in 2000. Corporal Singh grew up in Antelope and joined the Marines in 2007 after graduating high school. "He said he wanted to do something for the country," his father said. "All the time, he said he wanted to do something special."
Corporal Singh's ultimate sacrifice for his nation is a somber way to begin the July 4 Indpendence Day weekend. RIP Corporal Gurpreet Singh.
Mayors Call for Immigration Reform
Last week at their annual meeting, the United States Conference of Mayors passed a resolution among their members calling for comprehensive immigration reform. The sponsors of that resolution, Los Angeles, California Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Antonio Villaraigosa and Laredo, Texas Mayor Raul Salinas explain why immigration reform cannot wait. For more, click here.
Largest All-Military Naturalization Held At Midway Museum
Do You Feel Any Safer? U.S. Government Prosecutions Prioritize Immigration Crimes Over Dangerous Crimes
An astute observer of immigration developments in the United States, Michele Waslin on Immigration Impact concludes that recent reports by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) confirm that the federal government is prioritizing immigration enforcement over potentially far more dangerous activities, such as gun smuggling. While prosecutions for illegal re-entry are up in criminal courts, prosecutions for weapons-related offenses are down in the last year.
Prosecution for illegal reentry (a felony offense) is now the most commonly recorded lead charge brought by federal prosecutors, accounting for 47% of all criminal immigration prosecutions filed. Some of the immigrants charged with reentry were deported after committing a serious crime, while others may have been deported for being in the U.S. without status or another minor offense.
An ICE Storm of Immigration Audits is Coming: Employers Beware!
Corporate Counsel reports that, for the second time this year, auditors at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are cracking down on employers to ensure compliance with workplace eligibility laws. The government announced last week its intention to audit the hiring records of 1,000 employers of all sizes across the country. In February, the agency made a similar announcement and investigated 1,000 employers. The latest action brings the number of I-9 audits for fiscal year 2011 up to 2,300. ICE has been looking specifically at companies that traditionally hire a large volume of undocumented workers, such as the agricultural industry, the construction industry, and the hospitality industry. Other employers likely to be audited are those whose employees are privy to sensitive government information.
July 1, 2011
Georgia and South Carolina Laws Effective Today
Nicolas Mendoza writes for the Washington Independent:
Although two of the more controversial provisions of Georgia’s new immigration enforcement were blocked by a federal judge on Monday, other provisions that were not overturned go into effect today. It is now a criminal offense to apply for a job with a false I.D. in Georgia, punishable by up to $250,000 in fines and 15 years in jail.
There have been reports of immigrants, Hispanics and others who may be affected by the new law fleeing the state before it goes into effect. This has resulted in serious labor shortages, leaving crops to rot in fields and forcing farmers to raise prices to pay for new workers. It’s unclear which parts of the law were of greatest concern to the people leaving the state, but anecdotal accounts reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggest the judge’s decision was a relief to some of the immigrants thinking about leaving. . .
In South Carolina, where a law quite similar to Georgia’s passed last week, a new illegal immigration enforcement unit will be established today. The unit will coordinate between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials. Read more....
LGBTI Survey on Asylees and Refugees
Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration, is a San Francisco-based advocacy agency focusing on refugees fleeing sexual and gender-based violence. ORAM is conducting a ground-breaking survey on the integration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees and asylees in the greater Bay Area. ORAM is searching for relatively recent asylum grantees or recently-arrived refugees who’d be willing to spend several hours recounting their experiences to a researcher. The published results will benefit all LGBTI refugees and asylum for years to come.
We are asking AILA NorCal attorneys to contact known LGBTI clients and ask whether they might be willing to participate in this project. Clients should be assured that all results will be kept anonymous and highly confidential.
This project is being overseen by ORAM Executive Director and long-time AILA attorney Neil Grungras. A UNHCR partner NGO on LGBTI issues, ORAM has been featured prominently in the UN Refugee Agency’s outreach materials. See http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/search?page=search&docid=4e0adced9&query=ORAM (story provided below).
If you are able to assist, or if you would like more information, please write Neil at email@example.com.
Minority Law School Deans
Here is a list of minority deans of U.S. law schools compiled by Dean Athornia (Thorny) Steele (Nova):
1. Alex Acosta Florida International
2. Linda Ammons Widener
3. Craig Boise Cleveland State
4. David Brennen Kentucky
5. Charles E. Cantu St. Mary's
6. Jim Chen Louisville
7. Leticia Diaz Barry
8. Christopher Edley UC Berkeley
9. JoAnne Epps Temple
10. John Y. Gotanda Villanova
11. Claudio Grossman American
12. Phoebe Haddon Maryland
13. Dannye R. Holley Thurgood Marshall
14. Kevin Johnson UC Davis
15. Donald Lewis Hamline
16. Maria Pabón López Loyola-New Orleans
17. Shirley Mays Phoenix
18. Veryl Miles Catholic
19. Rachel Moran UCLA
20. Blake Morant Wake Forest
21. Makau Mutua Buffalo
22. Stacy Leeds Arkansas (July 1)
23. Cynthia Nance Arkansas (until July 1)
24. Camille A. Nelson Suffolk
25. Mark C. Niles Seattle
26. Leroy Pernell Florida A&M
27. Raymond Pierce North Carolina Central
28. Freddie Pitcher Southern
29. Jennifer Rosato Northern Illionois
30. Vincent D. Rougeau Boston College
31. Kurt Schmoke Howard
32. Athornia Steele Nova
33. Robert Ward Southern New ENgland; U Mass Dartmouth
34. Kevin Washburn New Mexico
35. Fred White Texas Wesleyan
36. John V. White University of Nevada at Las Vegas
37. Frank H. Wu UC Hastings
There currently are 201 ABA-approved law schools. It is interesting that four of the five University of California-affiliated law schools (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC Hastings) have deans on this list.
June 30, 2011
From the Bookshelves: Everyday Injustice: Latino Professionals and Racism by Maria Chavez
As members of the fastest-growing demographic group in America, Latinos are increasingly represented in the professional class, but they continue to face significant racism. Everyday Injustice introduces readers to the challenges facing Latino professionals today. Examining the experiences of many of the most privileged members of the largest racial and ethnic community in the United States, Maria Chávez provides important insights into the challenges facing racialized groups, particularly Latinos, in the United States. Her study looks at Latino lawyers in depth, weaving powerful personal stories and interview excerpts with a broader analysis of survey research and focus groups. The book examines racial framing in America, the role of language and culture among Latino professionals, the role of Latinos in the workplace, their level of civic participation, and the important role that education plays in improving their experiences. One chapter discusses the unique challenges that Latinas face in the workplace as both women and people of color. The findings outlined in Everyday Injustice suggest that despite considerable success in overcoming educational, economic, and class barriers, Latino professionals still experience marginalization. A powerful illustration of racism and inequality in America.
Here is an essay by the author previewing the book, including three stories. Download Chavez_LatinoLawyersLivinglavidaAmericana
Global Detention Project: United States Detention Profile
The Global Detention Project begins its "United States Detention Profile" begins as follows:
"The United States maintains the largest immigration detention infrastructure in the world, which by the end of fiscal year 2007 included 961 sites either directly owned by or under contract with the federal government, according to the Freedom of Information Act Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (Pavlik-Kenan 2007). Data collected by the Global Detention Project show that no less than 363 detention sites were used during the period 2007-2009 (see Map of Detention Sites)."
Click the link above for additional information about immigration detention in the United States. The Global Detention Project includes profiles for many other nations around the world.
From the Bookshelves: Janny Scott, A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother
Janny Scott's biography of President Obama's mother, A Singular Woman, is an incredibly interesting read. The book traces Stanley Ann Dunham's life -- including her brief marriage to Barack Obama Sr. and longer, but relatively brief, marriage with an Indonesian man -- and the relationship she had with her son, whose political rise came largely after her death in 1995.
A ruggedly independent person and intellectually in many ways ahead of her time, Dunham was an accomplished anthropologist who specialized in the informal markets of Indonesia, where women often are found. She lived in Indonesia with and without her now famous son for many years. Dunham's empathy, toughness, intelligence, and gregariousness comes through in this book based on interviews with the President and his half-Asian sister, as well as many, many professors, friends, colleagues, and others. Through many details and stories, we gain a better understanding of Stanley Ann Dunham and President Obama.
For an NPR story on the book, click here.
Valedictorian pins hopes on Dream Act
Evelyn Cruz passes this op/ed telling the story of another DREAMER who has gone public and is living in limbo.
A Sign of the Times: News Commentator Calls President a "D**k"
As readers know, the ImmigrationProf blog has been critical of President Obama and his administration's positions on immigration, immigration reform, and immigration enforcement. Indeed, at times, we have expressed anger with some of the actions taken by the Obama administration. But, there are limits to our criticism.
CNN reports that "MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin was suspended indefinitely Thursday from the cable network after calling President Obama a `d**k.'" At some point, the incredible animosity directed at the President, from the incendiary reaction in some quarters to what has been called Obamacare to "You Lie" to the birther movement, can only be explained by the fact that the President is African American. Did anyone news commentator ever publicly refer to President Bush as a "d**k"? If so, I missed it.
A Better Way to Reduce Illegal Mexican Immigration: Why the Restrictionists Are Wrong About Birthright Citizenship
Rogers Smith, whose book Citizenship Without Consent often is used by advocates for the restriction of birthright citizenship, argues in this article that the special historical relationship between the United States and Mexico justifies increased avenues for lawful immigration from Mexico to the United States.
Deportation of Same Sex Marriage Partner Halted
Kirk Semple writes for the NY Times:
In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple’s lawyer said Wednesday.
The announcement comes as immigration officials put into effect new, more flexible guidelines governing the deferral and cancellation of deportations, particularly for immigrants with no serious criminal records.
Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages. Read more....
I hope this is a signal that the Obama administration will push for the passage of UAFA.
Immigration Article of the Day: Asian Americans and Immigration Reform by Bill Ong Hing
Appointed Counsel in Removal Proceedings?
Cyrus Mehta, Esq. sees a possible right to appointed counsel in removal proceedings in the Supreme Court's June 20 decision in Turner v. Rogers.
Why Immigrant Stories Matter
Human Rights Watch has launched an interactive called Why Immigrant Stories Matter: A Human Rights Case for a Path to US Legal Status. The interactive feature is meant to illustrate, through the stories of four immigrants in North Carolina, how international human rights law supports a path to earned legalization for the millions of long-term undocumented immigrants in the United States.
In a 2010 report, Tough, Fair, and Practical, Human Rights Watch proposed a human rights framework for comprehensive immigration reform that would give immigrant crime victims a chance to seek justice, protect workers, respect the private and family life of longtime residents, and provide fair treatment for immigrants who come before the courts. Why Immigrant Stories Matter is a follow-up piece, in which we apply these human rights principles to the stories of real people. As you read each story, you can learn about the human rights at stake and then click on “Highlight all relevant details” to see how human rights are implicated in the details of that particular story.
Immigrants -- I Mean, Citizens -- of the Day
Yesterday, 34 immigrant soldiers were naturalized and became U.S. citizens at a ceremony at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. These new citizens, who are serving their country, deserve our respect and gratitude. We can all hope that they do not become suspected "illegals" uner South Carolina's new get-tough-on-illegal-immigrants law.
Citizen U.S.A.: A Documentary by Alexandra Pelosi
HBO will premiere Citizen U.S.A.: A 50-State Road Trip on July 4. The documentary follows Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as she travels across the United States to attend naturalization ceremonies in all 50 states and meets new citizens to find out why they chose America as their home. Here is a synopsis of the film.
There is a companion book to the documentary.
Pelosi talked about her film on The Colbert Report earlier this week.