Saturday, October 22, 2011

Arizona Lawsuit Against U.S. Dismissed

From the Associated Press:

A federal judge Friday dismissed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's lawsuit that accused the Obama administration of failing to enforce immigration laws or maintain control of her state's border with Mexico.

The dismissal by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton comes in a counter-lawsuit filed by Brewer as part of the Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law.

The Republican governor was seeking a court order that would require the federal government to take extra steps, such as more border fencing, to protect Arizona until the border is controlled.

Bolton said Brewer's claim that Washington has failed to protect Arizona from an "invasion" of illegal immigrants was a political question that isn't appropriate for the court to decide.

The judge also barred some of Brewer's claims because the issues were dealt with in a 1994 case by Arizona and can't be litigated again. Court precedent also requires the dismissal of some claims, Bolton wrote.

"While Arizona may disagree with the established enforcement priorities, Arizona's allegations do not give rise to a claim that the counter-defendants (the federal government) have abdicated their statutory responsibilities," Bolton wrote. Read more...


October 22, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alabama's Immigration Law will Cost State Economy $40 Million

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Farmers fearing a labor shortage are protesting recent immigration laws they say are too harsh, forcing undocumented workers to flee to prevent deportation. They say US workers are unwilling to endure the rigorous conditions of farm work and that state legislators need to come up with solutions to prevent local agribusiness from going under.

The new immigration laws will result in a $40 million hit to the state’s economy, with 10,000 undocumented workers, each making about $5,000 a year, set to leave, according to a report released this week by the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Read more..


October 22, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Leslie Berestein Rojas on Mixed Immigration Status Families

Leslie Berestein Rojas on Southern California Public Radio has a series (here, here, here) this week of first-person accounts from U.S. citizens or legal residents in families of mixed immigration status. The stories should remind us all of how the little things the rest of us take for granted just are not in the picture for them.


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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Immigration Article of the Day: "Defining Persecution" by SCOTT REMPELL

"Defining Persecution" by SCOTT REMPELL, South Texas College of Law.

ABSTRACT: Persecution is the core concept of asylum and refugee protection. Although thousands (if not tens of thousands) of decisions hinge on its meaning, a consistent definition is yet to emerge. Unmoored to any unified understanding of the term, immigration agencies and federal courts of appeals continue to articulate many different conceptions of persecution - conceptions that lack internal consistency and a coherent analytical foundation. Moreover, legal scholars have not attempted to aid adjudicators’ understanding of persecution because, by and large, scholars do not believe that a unified definition is possible. Meanwhile, the divergent definitions and understandings of persecution continue to produce unfair results for those seeking asylum, as asylum applicants receive disparate outcomes despite presenting claims based on similar situations. This Article challenges the conventional wisdom that persecution defies unified meaning. It provides a comprehensive assessment of persecution’s central underpinnings to isolate the three pillars that represent persecution’s fundamental core: harm, severity, and legitimacy. At the same time, this Article critiques a number of false dichotomies and shaky definitions that have troubled and obscured the persecution definition up to this point. Based on the analyzed core aspects of persecution and the elimination of erroneously included definitional components, this Article proposes that decision-makers define persecution as “the illegitimate infliction of sufficiently severe harm.” Because it is grounded in an examination of persecution’s true underpinnings, the proposed definition will aid courts in their review of asylum claims, and help administrators render consistent decisions. The stakes are simply too high, and the issue too prevalent, to let decades of abdication continue in any effort to form a unified definition.


October 21, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Lewis & Clark Law: New Landscapes in Legalization: An Interdisciplinary Exploration

2011 Fall Immigration Forum Date: Friday, October 28, 2011 Time: 2:45 pm

Lewis & Clark Law School

The future of the more than 10 million noncitizens living in the United States outside the law has influenced presidential elections, driven federal and state policy, and mesmerized the media. On October 28, 2011, the Law School will host both a public forum and a scholarly workshop with leading migration scholars from a rich diversity of fields — law, political science, geography, history, ethnic studies and sociology — to map the underpinnings and future trajectory of the legalization of immigrants outside the law. The forum will explore the legalization themes in Professor Hiroshi Motomura’s forthcoming book, Immigration Outside the Law.

Professor Motomura is the Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, a leading scholar and teacher of immigration and citizenship law, and the author of Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States. The event will culminate with a panel featuring the interdisciplinary scholars as they bring to bear their current research and perspectives on the intractable issue of legalization.


October 21, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Families and Immigration

From the ILRC:

Join Us for Our Families & Immigration Webinar!
Register here
  Families & Immigration: A Practical Guide is an essential tool for practitioners who assist in all aspects of family-sponsored immigration. It is a single-volume resource designed for everyday practice by the beginning immigration attorney, immigration paralegal, community-based organization, or family immigration advocate. Click here to order.

This manual provides a comprehensive overview of family immigration law with clearly worded explanations about each topic, including sample applications, declarations, waivers, and charts. It reaches all aspects of family-sponsored immigration and provides an understanding of qualifications for who can file and how to submit a family-based visa petition. It offers practical advice on how to engage your client to bring forth necessary information to allow you to more effectively assist them through the petition process.

This manual provides easy-to-follow steps and a comprehensive discussion about issues relating to immigration through marriage, including an essential understanding of:
•    Affidavit of support
•    Adjustment of status
•    Consular processing
•    Child Status Protection Act
•    Grounds for obtaining waivers of the conditions on residence
•    Conditional residence
•    Grounds and waivers of inadmissibility
•    V and K visas


October 20, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Judicial Obligations After Padilla v. Kentucky

From the Immigrant Defense Project:

IDP is excited to announce the publication of Judicial Obligations After Padilla v. Kentucky: The Role of Judges in Upholding Defendants' Rights to Advice About the Immigration Consequences of Criminal Dispositions. This October 2011 report is intended to be used in efforts to educate criminal court judges about the implications of the Padilla decision and to recommend best practices for judges to protect the rights of noncitizen defendants under that decision. The report was prepared for IDP by Nikki Reisch and Sara Rosell of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law under the supervision of Alina Das, NYU Professor of Clinical Law, and with the guidance of Benita Jain and Manuel Vargas of the IDP.  The authors would like to thank the following people who provided invaluable input and feedback throughout the research and writing process: Heidi Altman, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem; Ann Benson, Washington Defender Association; Jennifer Friedman, The Bronx Defenders; Randy Hertz, New York University School of Law; Angie Junck, Immigrant Legal Resource Center; Dan Kesselbrenner, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild; Holly Maguigan, New York University School of Law; Lindsay Nash, Yale Liman Fellow, Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic; Sarah Deri Oshiro, The Bronx Defenders; Norton Tooby, The Law Offices of Norton Tooby; and Marianne Yang, Brooklyn Defender Services.

The report can be found here.


October 20, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Japanese Internment and the Manzanar Fishing Club

The Manzanar Fishing Club

Film Preview and Discussion

Free Event at the California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco
Join us for a special preview of the film, The Manzanar Fishing Club. The Manzanar Fishing Club is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the WWII internment of Japanese Americans from a unique perspective: through the eyes of those who defied the armed guards, barbed wire and searchlights to fish for trout in the surrounding waters of the Eastern Sierra. By emphasizing the evacuees' personal stories this film goes beyond the confinement itself, and instead shows how a courageous few were able to take back a bit of dignity and freedom through the simple act of fishing.  After a screening of the first chapter of the film, a panel discussion will follow. Screenwriter/producer Richard Imamura will be joined by Mas Okui, an internee fisherman whose experiences are discussed in the film, and local historian and author Stan Yogi.  Please RSVP to 415.357.1848, ext. 229 or


October 20, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

SHOCKING NEWS!!!!!!!! Republican Comments on Immigration Alienate Latinos

A N.Y. Times story.  Duh!


October 20, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

International Human Rights Commission Hears Case on Anti-immigrant Border Vigilante Activities

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS) has announced that it will hear a human rights complaint brought by a Tucson immigrant rights organization. The Border Action Network has accused the United States of failing to provide protection and legal remedies for victims of violence and intimidation by anti-immigrant vigilante groups operating along the US-Mexico border in southern Arizona. The complaint, filed in 2005, alleges that the United States is in violation of the rights to life, liberty and personal security, the right to equality before the law and the right to judicial protection as recognized under the OAS' principal human rights instrument, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The Commission ruled the complaint to be admissible in August 2009 and published a report of its findings. The case is now at the merits stage of the proceedings which means the Commission will determine whether the United States has a duty to prevent, investigate and sanction these armed vigilante groups.

The case focuses on 21 incidents occurring in Cochise County, Arizona during the period of 1999-2005 in which private individuals or organized vigilante groups, such as the Minutemen, detained and assaulted people they suspected of being undocumented, some of whom were Mexican-American children.

Attorneys from the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop at the University of Arizona College of Law are providing legal representation on this case. The Workshop provides law students the opportunity to get directly involved in high-profile human and civil rights cases.

The hearing is at the Commission's headquarters in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, from 9-10 am. It is a public hearing. Media questions can be addressed to the Commission's Press Director, Maria Isabel Rivero: (202) 458-3867


October 20, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

15 Eye-Opening Facts on Undocumented Students

Online College.Org offers 15 "Eye-Opening Facts on Undocumented Students." Here are the fifteen but click the link for further "eye-opening" explanations:

1 Most undocumented students have no role in the decision to come to the US

2 Undocumented students may not even be aware of their status

3 Federal law protects young undocumented students

4 Undocumented students are often high performers

5 Undocumented students have fewer opportunities in school

6 Undocumented isn't always illegal

7 The DREAM Act may provide relief for undocumented students

8 Thousands of undocumented students fail to complete high school

9 Only a fraction of undocumented students make it to college

10 Undocumented college students can't receive federal loans or grants

11 Undocumented students may be able to pay in state tuition

12 Somehow, undocumented graduates may still find work

13 Undocumented students often don't apply to college or take advantage of state programs

14 Financial Aid opportunities exist for undocumented students

15 Some schools offer undocumented students full ride scholarships


October 20, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

What About the Children? Growing Up in the Shadows: The Developmental Implications of Unauthorized Status

A "must read" article from the fall 2011 issue of the Harvard Education Review:

Growing Up in the Shadows: The Developmental Implications of Unauthorized Status

"Unauthorized immigrants account for approximately one-fourth of all immigrants in the United States, yet they dominate public perceptions and are at the heart of a policy impasse. Caught in the middle are the children of these immigrants—youth who are coming of age and living in the shadows. An estimated 5.5 million children and adolescents are growing up with unauthorized parents and are experiencing multiple and yet unrecognized developmental consequences as a result of their family’s existence in the shadow of the law. Although these youth are American in spirit and voice, they are nonetheless members of families that are “illegal” in the eyes of the law. In this article, the authors develop a conceptual framework to systematically examine the ways in which unauthorized status affects the millions of children, adolescents, and emerging adults caught in its wake. The authors elucidate the various dimensions of documentation status—going beyond the binary of the “authorized” and “unauthorized.” An ecological framework brings to the foreground a variety of systemic levels shaping the daily experiences of children and youth as they move through the developmental spectrum. The article moves on to examine a host of critical developmental outcomes that have implications for child and youth well-being as well as for our nation’s future."


October 20, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Insecure Communities: How an Immigration Enforcement Program Encourages Battered Women to Stay Silent" by RADHA VISHNUVAJJALA

"Insecure Communities: How an Immigration Enforcement Program Encourages Battered Women to Stay Silent" Boston College Third World Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2011 RADHA VISHNUVAJJALA, Boston College - Law School.

ABSTRACT: Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in American society. Undocumented immigrant women suffer disproportionately from spousal abuse due to language and cultural barriers. Undocumented domestic violence victims often do not know how or where to seek help and fear deportation. That fear is not unfounded because Secure Communities, a new immigration enforcement program run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requires participating local law enforcement agencies to cross-check fingerprints with a federal immigration database. Individuals that are matched and considered removable are subject to removal proceedings through ICE. This program makes undocumented immigrant women less likely to call for help because of the risk of being fingerprinted and then deported. This Note argues that ICE should provide protection to victims of domestic violence.


October 20, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Call for Papers: St. John's Immigration Symposium

Symposium Call for Participation

Border Patrols: The Legal, Racial, Social, and Economic Implications of United States Immigration Policy


Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, St. John's School of Law
The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development, St. John's School of Law

Education Law Society, St. John's School of Law
The St. John's University Committee for Latin & Caribbean Studies
We invite a broad range of participants―including scholars, practitioners, elected officials, activists, community leaders and students―to share a variety of perspectives on this complex and contentious issue in American society. We are especially interested in the constitutional, political, historical, social, economic, racial and other unique legal issues relating to U.S. immigration policy.

View the full Call for Participation

Submission Guidelines
If you would like to participate in the symposium as a panelist or speaker, please submit an abstract of 250 words or less through our online abstract submission form or by e-mail to The abstract submission deadline is December 15, 2011. We will notify all selected panelists and speakers by January 9, 2012. After the symposium, participants will have an opportunity to submit an article to be considered for publication in the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development.


October 19, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Speedy Gonzales and the U.S./Mexico Border

I received this immigration tidbit over the transom (e-mail really).  A local historian provided this link to a friend of mine of a Speedy Gonzales cartoon in which Speedy outwits Sylvester in crossing the U.S.-Mexico border (and getting the cheese).  Sylvester appears to represent the Border Patrol (ICE) and Speedy would-be immigrants.  Speedy somehow manages to always get the cheese.

The cartoon came out in 1955, a year after Operation Wetback, an operation in the Southwest run by a military general that removed tens of thousands of persons of Mexican ancestry from the country.


Speedy Gonzales
Get More: Speedy Gonzales


October 19, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Viva Las Vegas? Republican President Candidates Spar on Immigration in Debate in the Desert

The Republican Presidential candidates duked it out in a debate in Las Vegas last night. NYC immigration attorney Merrill Clark reports on the debate from an immigration perspective:

"Attached are the full transcript (Download Republican party transcript 10182011) and the immigration portion (Download Immigration Portion of 100182011 debate) of the October 18, 20111 Republican Debate. In the immigration portion, I have added the full name and position or former position of each person the first time the person spoke. While the previous debate had no immigration discussion, immigration provided the fireworks in this debate between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Perry accused Romney of hiring "illegals." The word "illegal" was used 36 times (the same number of "9"s in the previous debate), while the word "undocumented" was not used (and probably not understood in Republican circles). Romney replied that he fired his landscaping company for employing "illegals." And Romney replied that Texas was a magnet for "illegals." Michelle Bachmann, looking for more inverted 999s stooped to a new low, indicating that President Obama's uncle and aunt are illegal aliens. Not true. President Obama's aunt is now an ayslee. Rick Santorum, who in a previous debate "oops" Latinos as illegals, went out of his way to say that Latinos are good family people with strong values. Romney had a nice line about how we all favor legal (not illegal) immigration."

For the CNN fact check of Gov. Perry's accusation that Romney kept the "illegals" working at his home even after informed of their status, click here.

As Merrill Clark mentioned above, Rep. Bachmann had the immigration jab of the night directed at President Obama:

"MICHELLE BACHMANN, MINNESOTA CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, I think the person who really has a problem with illegal immigration in the country is President Obama. It's his uncle and his aunt who are illegal aliens...


... who've been allowed to stay in this country, despite the fact that they're illegal."

I am not sure what bothers me more, the parallel between Bachmann's accusations and the old claim that a politician has a "n----r in the woodpile" or the fact that there was applause to Bachmann's statement.



October 19, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "A New International Law of Citizenship" by Peter Spiro

"A New International Law of Citizenship" American Journal of International Law, Forthcoming PETER J. SPIRO, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law.

ABSTRACT: Will international law colonize the last bastion of sovereign discretion? As a matter of traditional doctrine, international law has had little to say about the citizenship practices of states and the terms on which states determine the boundaries of their memberships. Through much of the Westphalian era, states have been essentially unconstrained with respect to who gets citizenship and on what terms. That is now changing. Recent developments point to the emergence of norms that require the extension of territorial birthright citizenship in some cases and that limit discretion concerning naturalization thresholds. International law may come to protect an individual’s right to maintain multiple nationality. These and other elements of a new regime relating to citizenship practice are emerging through multiple channels of decentralized international lawmaking. The shift is also reflected in recent work of prominent political theorists, who are increasingly articulating a right to citizenship. The new international law of citizenship has broad implications for the nature of the state. To the extent that an international right to citizenship status helps decouple citizenship from organic forms of community, it could be subversive of the communal solidarities on which state capacities may depend. This magnifies the importance of building capacity at the international level. The article charts the history of and suggests a future for the international law of citizenship.


October 19, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Report Faults Immigration Program for Wrongful Arrests, Detentions Deportations Without Hearings and Counsel, Hints of Racial Profiling, US Citizen Arrests Top Concerns

The majority of people arrested in a fast-growing federal immigration enforcement program are jailed without bond, without access to a lawyer, and without a court hearing, according to a new report. Secure Communities by the Numbers: An Analysis of Demographics and Due Process finds that the Secure Communities program has led to thousands of wrongful arrests of U.S. citizens, while tens of thousands of families are split apart.

The report, released by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law & Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law, is a first-ever in-depth analysis of Secure Communities data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Secure Communities relies on local law enforcement to target noncitizens for deportation. Fingerprints from individuals booked into local jails—many on minor infractions—are sent to the Department of Homeland Security for an immigration check, triggering arrests. This has transformed the enforcement landscape by allowing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to effectively run federal immigration checks on everyone booked into a local jail.

“The results are disturbing because they point to a system that is funneling people towards deportation without due process. Based on our findings, we recommend that the Department of Homeland Security suspend the program until the government addresses the issues we identify, particularly wrongful U.S. citizen arrests, potential racial profiling, and lack of discretion in detention,” said Aarti Kohli, director of immigration policy at the Warren Institute and lead author of the report.

Lisa Chavez, Senior Research Associate at the Warren Institute and a co-author adds, “We had unprecedented access to federal data on ICE arrests, detentions, and deportations of people who are pulled in through Secure Communities. By following the numbers, we were able to construct a picture of who is being arrested and what happens to them after their immigration arrest.”

Key findings include:

· Approximately 3,600 United States citizens have been arrested by ICE through the Secure Communities program even though citizens, by definition, should not be subject to immigration detention;

· Approximately 88,000 families containing U.S. citizens have been affected by Secure Communities through the immigration arrest of a family member;

· Latinos comprise 93% of individuals arrested through Secure Communities though they only comprise 77% of the undocumented population in the United States;

· Only 52% of individuals arrested through Secure Communities were slated to appear before an immigration judge;

· Only 24% of the individuals arrested through Secure Communities who did have an immigration hearing were represented by an attorney. By contrast, 40% of all immigration court respondents have counsel;

· Only 2% of non-citizens arrested through Secure Communities are granted relief from deportation by an immigration judge. By contrast, 14% of all immigration court respondents are granted relief;

· A large majority (83%) of people arrested through Secure Communities is held in ICE detention as compared with an overall DHS immigration detention rate of 62%. ICE does not appear to be exercising discretion when deciding whether or not to detain Secure Communities arrestees.

“The wrongful arrest of thousands of U.S. citizens demonstrates that, too often, ICE’s protocol is arrest first, investigate second. This flies in the face of the Constitution. With these numbers finally public, ICE must confront the deep flaws in the program that have led to these wrongful arrests and to the disproportionate targeting of young Latino men,” said professor Peter L. Markowitz, director of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo School of Law, a co-author of the report.

The data of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s Secure Communities program was obtained through partial settlement of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON).

“The government’s own data has consistently shown that most of the people impacted by this program have no criminal record or are low-level offenders. To lock these people up in detention centers without access to attorneys or an opportunity to see a judge is undemocratic,” said Kohli.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including:

· Increasing transparency of the program;

· Adding safeguards to prevent U.S. citizen arrests;

· Investigating the evidence of racial profiling of Latinos;

· Providing access to government-appointed legal counsel; and

· Suspending the program until these recommendations are addressed.

Here is Julia Preston's article in the New York Times on the report.


October 19, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Deport Your Local Fire Chief?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Migration and Occupational Health: Understanding the Risks

Marc s

Due to their overrepresentation in low-skilled jobs and a variety of other factors, immigrants are at greater risk for occupational illness and injury than nonimmigrants — even within occupational categories. Dr. Marc B. Schenker discusses some of the available research on occupational health outcomes of immigrant populations and the challenges associated with conducting such research.


October 18, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)