Saturday, August 6, 2011

Domestic Crusaders Returning to NYC

From Before Columbus Foundation:

The Domestic Crusaders is returning to NYC for a special engagement the weekend of the 10th anniversary of September 11.

The Domestic Crusaders, written by Wajahat Ali, the first major play published about a Muslim Pakistani American family living in post-911 era, will be performed at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College where it will headline their  "Art of Justice: 9/11 Performance Project."

Performing on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 on a large NYC stage will be very powerful. This opportunity is a very important to heal wounds through art and culture. This play has repeatedly proven its ability to bridge divides and initiate important conversations concerning identity, politics, religion, race and bigotry. 

We are grateful to the Open Society Foundation for generously supporting this endeavor.  We also have some very significant private individuals, but we need your support too.

We are in the last stages of fundraising and need to raise $5,000 for discretionary funding like travel and accommodations for the cast. I hope you will support me and the play like you have in the past.

We would be grateful for any level of donation. Please donate through paypal to the Foundation that sponsors us - the nonprofit organization "The Before Columbus Foundation" - Your contributions are tax free - the tax ID  is 94-2534340.

You can also mail a check here:

Before Columbus Foundation
The Raymond House
655 - 13th Street, Suite 302
Oakland, CA 94612


August 6, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The sinful lies of Norway's madman: European immigration in the wake of Breivik

ImmigrationProf previously reported on the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rantings of Anders Behring Breivik, Norway's mass murderer. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco reminds us of the facts:

"Anders Behring Breivik, the butcher of Norway, believed the "Muslim colonization" of Europe - aided and abetted by multiculturalist fellow travelers and colluding weak-kneed politicians - was poised to destroy pristine Norway unless he acted. Breivik's European Declaration of Independence lists a series of demands, above all that "immigration in whatever form should be immediately and completely halted, and that our authorities take a long break from mass immigration in general until such a time when law and order has been reestablished in our major cities."

The irrational fear of immigration does not align with the facts. Immigration has remained remarkably stable over the past 50 years - with approximately 3% to 3.2% of the world's population as international migrants.

Norway, which sent to America some 522,000 immigrants over a century ago, is paradigmatic of the status quo. Over the course of 150 years, it has experienced a minor net migration gain. Today, it has approximately 550,000 immigrants - half of them originating in Europe, with Poles and Swedes leading the way. Norway has a small Muslim population (roughly a quarter of its immigrants).

Immigration's stability is remarkable. While the potential for immigration continues to grow in our increasingly mobile and global world, the reality of international immigration remains quite stable - with more than 96% of all human beings living in the countries where they were born.' (emphasis added).


August 6, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Use of Immigration Status in Cross-Examination of Witnesses: Scope, Limits, Objections

"The Use of Immigration Status in Cross-Examination of Witnesses: Scope, Limits, Objections" American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010 CALEB E. MASON, Southwestern Law School. ABSTRACT: Federal immigration reform and state immigration laws have claimed a prominent place in the current political conversation. Here, Professor Mason outlines the use of illegal immigration status in the impeachment of witnesses with an emphasis on the pretrial discovery process.


August 6, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 5, 2011

International Migration in the Americas: First Report of the Continuous Reporting System on International Migration in the Americas 2011

According to a joint report released by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), between 2003 and 2009, nearly 950,000 people per year emigrated from the Americas to countries of the OECD. The Report on International Migration in Americas offers in-depth analyzes of the migration situation in Argentina, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Uruguay. Those eleven countries participated in the first phase of the Continuous Reporting System on Labour Migration for the Americas (SICREMI).


August 5, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Bait and Switch: Secure Communities Agreements Voided, Feds to Use Fingerprints Provided by state and Local Police

The Huffington Post reports that "Activists are outraged over a Friday announcement from the Department of Homeland Security that it will move ahead with its controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program, even if states do not agree to participate." See, for example:

National Immigration Forum

State Legislators for Progerssive Immigration Policy

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Amnesty International


ICE has terminated the memoranda of agreements with state and local law enforcement and stated that it does not need state and local consent to use fingerprint data submitted to the federal government. Any first year law student would ask the obvious: Then why were the agreements secured in the first place if consent was not needed? In a diplomatic tone, the L.A. Times referred to the change as "an unusual move."


August 5, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

AFL-CIO Reaffirms Call for Immigration Reform

The AFL-CIO Executive Council this morning reaffirmed its support for comprehensive immigration reform. Here is the entire statement issued by the council:

The AFL-CIO reaffirms its position on comprehensive immigration reform. “Enforcement only” is not the AFL-CIO’s position because it is contrary to comprehensive reform. We have serious concerns about E-verify, and do not support E-verify in its current form. If E-verify were to change, we would re-consider that position.


August 5, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Emerging Issues for LGBT Immigrants and Asylum Seekers

Emerging Issues for LGBT Immigrants, Asylees and Refugee Seekers CLE
Monday, August 8, 2011
5:00 - 7:30 PM
Room 3211 at Golden Gate University in San Francisco
2 Hours California MCLE credit will be provided.
$40 for nonmembers; $20 for members (No one turned away for lack of funds).
Free for non-credit seekers.
Register Online

Speakers will present on a multitude of issues regarding LGBT immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, including the progress made in adjudicating claims by same-sex bi-national couples, the impact of DOMA litigation or repeal of DOMA on LGBT immigrants. Speakers will also present on how LGBTI asylum cases would be handled in a variety of the jurisdictions outside the U.S. context and on the UNHCR refugee status determination process.


Zachary M. Nightingale is partner at Partner at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano and Nightingale. His practice focuses on deportation defense and federal court litigation, with an emphasis on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Other specialties include asylum, naturalization, and family-based adjustment of status. A significant part of his practice includes advising non-citizens and their attorneys as to the immigration consequences of pending criminal charges, and how to minimize those consequences.

Emily E. Arnold-Fernández, Esq., the founder and executive director of Asylum Access, is a social entrepreneur and human rights pioneer. A lawyer who has advocated nationally and internationally for the human rights of women, children, and other vulnerable individuals, Emily first became involved in refugee rights in 2002, when she represented refugees in United Nations proceedings in Cairo, Egypt. Emily’s legal advocacy won her client protection and safety in Egypt until his eventual resettlement in the U.S. Unfortunately, Cairo was one of the few places where refugees had access to legal advocates like Emily. Recognizing that refugees throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America – some of whom flee with nothing more than the clothes on their backs – were almost always unequipped to go into a legal proceeding in a foreign country, alone, and explain why they should not be deported, Emily founded Asylum Access to advocate on behalf of refugees seeking to assert their rights.

Chelsea Haley-Nelson is the EOIR liaison at AILA of Northern California, a Co-Chair at BALIF and a Co-Chair with the Immigration Committee at National Lawyer’s Guild-San Francisco Chapter.

Cosponsored by Immigrant Legal Resource Center, South Asian Bar Association - Bay Area, Asylum Access, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.


August 5, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Seeking Asylum : Trends and Policies in the OECD

Seeking Asylum : Trends and Policies in the OECD August 4, 2011 23:06 by the Centre for Economic Policy Research analyzes some of the continuing asylum policy issues facing the world.


August 5, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Beluga Whales Love Mariachi Music

I grew up listening and loving mariachi music. Apparently, beluga whales have the same predelictions. Click here for a treat.


August 5, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NILC Low Income Immigrants' Rights Conference

From the National Immigration Law Center:

Those of you who have attended the National Immigration Law Center’s Low Income Immigrants' Rights Conference already know that conference participants have a unique opportunity to build bridges of all kinds. Experts on immigration enforcement come to learn about immigrant access to health care and workers’ rights, DREAMers strategize with other local leaders on how to end the entanglement between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement authorities, and litigators meet with organizers to better protect rights for all workers.

The keynote speaker for this year’s conference will bring bridge-building to a whole new level. Widely known as one of the nation’s foremost experts on race, poverty, and the criminal justice system, Bryan Stevenson is perhaps best known for his ground-breaking anti-death penalty work. As Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, Stevenson has taken on capital cases that were considered unwinnable and won landmark decisions to strengthen civil rights for all. Furthermore, Stevenson has challenged all of us to take a better look at the fundamental flaws that exist within our criminal justice system.

This December, he will join hundreds of immigrants’ rights advocates to strengthen yet another bridge as we work toward creating a more equal and just society for all those living in this country, regardless of where they were born, what the color of their skin is, or what their income level may be.

Join us. You will be inspired by Bryan Stevenson and all participants.

Marielena Hincapié
Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center


August 5, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alabama Students and the Scarlet Letter

Alexandra Rice in Education Week:

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley proudly called the state's new immigration law the "strongest immigration law in the country," but some say it goes too far. The law, signed by the governor, a Republican, in June and currently being challenged in court, still gives all students the right to enroll in schools regardless of their immigration status. But now public schools are required to report the status of each student to the state department of education. When doing this, schools will code each child a "0" or a "1". . . .

Esayas Haile is one of the individual plaintiffs in the lawsuit. A recent refugee from Eritrea, Haile is worried the new law will prevent him from enrolling in the community college this fall where he plans to continue taking classes to learn English. Matt Webster, another plaintiff, also worries about the two sons he and his wife are going through the process of adopting. The boys were already in the country when their biological mother passed away, and they are now under the guardianship of the Websters. Now, the lawsuit contends, he will be illegally transporting the children until the adoption is final. The court document says Webster is also concerned about the implications of disclosing his children's immigration status. Read more....


August 5, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Labour Immigration Policy in the EU: A Renewed Agenda for Europe 2020

"Labour Immigration Policy in the EU: A Renewed Agenda for Europe 2020" CEPS Policy Brief No. 240 SERGIO CARRERA, Centre for European Policy Studies, ANAÏS FAURE ATGER, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), ELSPETH GUILD, Radboud University Nijmegen - Faculty of Law, Kingsley Napley - Department of Immigration, The British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), THEODORA KOSTAKOPOULOU, University of Manchester - School of Law.

ABSTRACT: The EU’s capacity to implement a legitimate and coherent policy on labour immigration that complies with the rights of migrants faces enormous challenges in light of the political priorities set in the EU’s 2020 Strategy and the effects of the recent revolutions and war in North Africa. This Policy Brief examines the incoherencies characterising the current generation of EU labour immigration policies and the challenges of ensuring a global rights-based approach to migration. The analysis carried out in this paper is accompanied by a synthesis of the main policy recommendations discussed at the Workshop on “The Next Phase of EU Labour Immigration Policy: Enhancing Policy Coherence and Advancing a Rights-Based Approach” organised in the context of the Conference “State of the Union: Brussels Think Tank Dialogue 2011” in January 2011.


August 5, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Third Circuit Vacates its Decision in Hazleton Case

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated its decision that had declared Hazleton, Pennsylvania's anti-immigrant ordinance unconstitutional. After the Supreme Court upheld Arizona's employer sanction law in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting a few months ago, the Court ordered the Third Circuit to review its decision in the Hazleton case. Although the Third Circuit will likely ask for new briefing and oral argument in the case, I predict that the Third Circuit will once again rule that Hazleton's ordinance relating to to such matters as renting to undocumented immigrants is unconstitutional on the grounds of preemption. Hazleton's efforts are clear attempts to regulate immigration which is the job of Congress.


August 4, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

One DREAMER Stands Up

Read about courageous Ju Hong, who learned during the college application process that he is undocumented. and how he spent some of his last days of summer before his senior year at UC Berkeley protesting to draw attention to the plight of undocumented students.


August 4, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

U.S.-Mexico Border Is Safer Than Ever

Despite the “border security first” rhetoric, the U.S.?mexico border is safer than ever.  The Center for American Progress has released a report, “Safer than Ever: A View from the U.S. – Mexico Border,” which discusses the achievements made in reducing unlawful entries across the border and renewing the call for comprehensive legal reform—the absence of which has triggered a number of unintended and counterproductive consequences.

As a result of increased DHS personnel along the southern border and a number of major improvements in technology and infrastructure, the Border Patrol can more effectively monitor the border and curb the flow of unauthorized crossings. Examples of the unprecedented resource deployment include:

• The amount of Border Patrol agents has doubled since 2004—now we have nearly 21,000, 18,000 of whom are deployed along the southern border.

• A quarter of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are now deployed along the southern border with double their previous number of personnel assigned to the Border Enforcement Security Taskforces, focusing on disrupting criminal organizations.

• President Obama has deployed and extended the mission of 1,200 National Guard troops to assist local law enforcement identify smugglers with sophisticated Defense Department technologies and fill manpower gaps.

• DHS has completed nearly 650 miles of fencing, including 300 miles of vehicle barriers and 350 miles of pedestrian fencing.

• The use of advanced detection technologies, including remote video surveillance systems, mobile surveillance, and thermal imaging systems, has been broadly expanded by DHS, enabling officers to monitor a broader swath of the border in real time, despite the difficulties that stretches of high density areas and rocky terrain present.


August 4, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights for Everyone: Muslims are Fellow Americans

From Elizabeth Potter of Unity Productions Foundation:

America was built on the principles of equality and basic human rights for all. Recent mosque protests and congressional hearings on American Muslims are all unfortunate examples of a rising tide of fear that lead to intolerance and inequality. This climate of suspicion towards our fellow Americans compromises the great values that our country was founded upon. We've put together a 2 minute film in response that I believe you and the readers of Immigration Prof Blog will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:


August 4, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Third Circuit Court Upholds Noncitizens' Right to Pursue Case From Outside the U.S.

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Sloviter, joined the growing number of courts to reject the government’s attempt by regulation to bar noncitizens from seeking reopening or reconsideration of their cases after leaving the United States. The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, which filed a joint amicus brief in the case and argued before the court, have praised the court’s ruling.

Here is the Third Circuit's conclusion in a nutshell:

"In summary, the post-departure bar regulation conflicts with Congress‘ clear intent for several reasons. First, the plain text of the statute provides each `alien' with the right to file one motion to reopen and one motion to reconsider. Second, the importance and clarity of this right has been emphasized by the Supreme Court in Dada. Third, Congress specifically considered and incorporated limitations on this right and chose not to include the post-departure bar, despite its prior existence in regulation. Fourth, the post-departure bar would eviscerate the right to reopen/reconsider by allowing the government to forcibly remove the alien prior to the expiration of the time allowance. Fifth, Congress included geographic limitations on the availability of the domestic violence exception, but included no such limitation generally. Sixth, Congress specifically withdrew the statutory post-departure bar to judicial review in conformity with IIRIRA‘s purpose of speeding departure, but improving accuracy. The regulatory post-departure bar to BIA motions to reopen/reconsider, if permitted, would undermine those dual objectives and conflict with the clear intent of Congress. For the foregoing reasons, we will reverse the decision of the BIA and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion."

The Tenth Circuit is rehearing en banc a case raising similar issues.


August 4, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style by Kathy Peiss

Zoot suit 
Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style
by Kathy Peiss

ABSTRACT:  Before the fashion statements of hippies, punks, or hip-hop, there was the zoot suit, a striking urban look of the World War II era that captivated the imagination. Created by poor African American men and obscure tailors, the "drape shape" was embraced by Mexican American pachucos, working-class youth, entertainers, and swing dancers, yet condemned by the U.S. government as wasteful and unpatriotic in a time of war. The fashion became notorious when it appeared to trigger violence and disorder in Los Angeles in 1943—events forever known as the "zoot suit riot." In its wake, social scientists, psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians all tried to explain the riddle of the zoot suit, transforming it into a multifaceted symbol: to some, a sign of social deviance and psychological disturbance, to others, a gesture of resistance against racial prejudice and discrimination. As controversy swirled at home, young men in other places—French zazous, South African tsotsi, Trinidadian saga boys, and Russian stiliagi—made the American zoot suit their own.

In Zoot Suit, historian Kathy Peiss explores this extreme fashion and its mysterious career during World War II and after, as it spread from Harlem across the United States and around the world. She traces the unfolding history of this style and its importance to the youth who adopted it as their uniform, and at the same time considers the way public figures, experts, political activists, and historians have interpreted it. This outré style was a turning point in the way we understand the meaning of clothing as an expression of social conditions and power relations.

Zoot Suit offers a new perspective on youth culture and the politics of style, tracing the seam between fashion and social action.

Kathy Peiss is Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Click here for a review in the Wall Street Journal.


August 4, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Another Raid Gone Awry? Hispanic Family Terrorized By Immigration Agents

This is a troubling story on the Huffington Post of a botched and mistaken ICE raid in search of drugs of an innocent Latino family in southern California. Now they face deportation.


August 4, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

South Carolina Immigration Law Starts New Era of Racial Profiling: "This is legalized racial profiling, which black folks are no strangers to"

New America Media interviewed community leaders and journalists in South Carolina to get a sense of the impacts of the state's new immigration law. The results of the law, which does not go into effect until next January 1, already are troubling. As one journalist stated bluntly, "This is legalized racial profiling, which black folks are no strangers to."


August 4, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)