Saturday, February 19, 2011
Courtesy of Presente.org
La Prensa San Diego analyzes why the mainstream media buried coverage of the Shawna Forde murder case, a case that we blogged about on several occasions on ImmigrationProf. Prosecutors charged that Forde recruited two men to rob the Flores home because she needed funds for her Minutemen American Defense organization. Nine-year old Brisenia Flores and her father were killed in the robbery. For more on the verdict, click here. A jury currently is deliberating on whether Shawna Forde should receive the death penalty.
Here is a video of Forde on a television show.
Here is a press release about the verdict from Presente.org:
"Latinos across the United States applaud the guilty verdict of two counts of first-degree murder rendered by the Pina County jury on the trial of Shawna Forde, a leader of the hate-group Minuteman American Defense (MAD) who was found guilty of murdering 9 year-old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul Flores. Local civil and human rights leaders from across the nation join forces with Presente.org, an online advocacy group that seeks to strengthen the political voice of Latino communities, to salute the Flores family in its efforts to achieve justice for Brisenia. Advocates state that verdict sends a strong message that hate-crimes will face the full force of the law and, at the same time, call on the media to be socially responsible by reporting the linkages between Forde’s proven extremism and that of extremist groups she represents.
On May 2009, Forde and two accomplices – MAD Operations Director Jason Bush and local MAD member Albert Gaxiola – broke into the Flores’ home in the border town of Arivaca, Arizona. Without compunction, they shot Raul Flores, his wife Gina Gonzalez and their daughter Brisenia who screamed, “Please don’t shoot me!” before being shot twice in the head; Gonzalez survived the incident."
Unfortunately, the Flores murder case is the tip of the iceberg. Hate crimes against Latinos and immigrants have been in the news regularly over the last few years, at the same time that the nation has had a rancorous debate over immigration reform and the place of immigrants in U.S. society.
UPDATE (Feb. 21): The jury imposed the death penalty on Shawna Forde for the two murders.
Friday, February 18, 2011
The Florida International University Law School, with the assistance of the FIU Law Review, is holding a symposium on immigration on February 24-25. The gathering will bring together nationally-renowned scholars, government officials, and practitioners to present and discuss potential changes in immigration law, as well as structural and administrative reform that could resolve among the most hotly contested issues of our era.
The symposium will conclude with a plenary panel on the prospects and challenges of comprehensive immigration followed by an off-the-record discussion among our distinguished guests.
Thursday, February 24th 8:00AM - 9:15 AM Breakfast at FIU College of Law
9:15AM - 11:45AM Panel I: The Immigration Crisis: Empirical & Other Data Moderator: Professor Howard Wasserman, FIU Law Panelist: • Professor Peter Margulies, Roger Williams University • Professor Natsu Saito, Georgia State University • Professor Imtiaz Hussain, Universidad Iberoamerican, México City • Professor Linda Kelley, University of Indiana Commentator: Juan Javier Del Granado, FIU Law Visiting Scholar
12:00PM - 2:00PM Lunch Remarks by Dean R. Alexander Acosta
2:00PM - 4:30PM Panel II: The Prospects for & Challenges of Reform Moderator: Professor Hannibal Travis Panelists: • Professor Ediberto Roman, FIU Law • Professor Maria Pabon Lopez , University of Indiana • Dean Nilda Pedrosa, FIU Law • Professor Berta Hernandez, University of Florida Commentator: Professor Cyra Choudhury, FIU Law
5:00PM Art Exhibit & Networking Reception Hosted by FIU College of Law Clinic Haiti: Faces of Hope
Friday, February 25th 8:00AM - 9:00AM Breakfast at FIU College of Law
9:00AM -10:30AM Panel III: Reform and Related Prospects (DREAM Act) Moderator: Judge Cristina Pereyra, Host of Univision’s Veredicto Final Panelists: • Leon Fresco, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee • Professor Steven Bender, Oregon • Professor Alfonso Gonzales, Lehman • Professor David Abraham, Miami Commentator: Juan Gomez, FIU Law Visiting Faculty
10:45AM – 11:45AM Immigration Reform Workshop Moderator: Josie Goytisolo, Vice President News and Public Affairs Holavision • Jesus Medina & Karen Iglesias -- FIU Public Health Immigrant Advocacy Coalition students • DREAM Walker Video & commentary by DREAM Walker, Carlos Roa Reflective Discussion led by Judge Christina Pereyra
12:00PM Luncheon & Debate Debate topic: Birthright Citizenship Dean John Eastman, Chapman University Professor Ediberto Roman, FIU Law
2:00PM Closing Remarks & Wrap-up Professor Gerald Torres, University of Texas
Walter Ewing at Immigration Impact writes that the President's proposed FY 2012 budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) illustrates the Obama administration's conflicted priorities when it comes to immigration. On the one hand, the budget increases funding for worthy causes such as immigrant integration, alternatives to detention, and civil-liberties oversight of enforcement programs. On the other hand, these funding increases are dwarfed by the size of the budget for border and interior immigration enforcement.
Wisconsin is certainly in the news over its budget challenge to state workers. But here's other news happening in the state.
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) has issued a report addressing a number of issues that the child welfare system faces in working with refugee and immigrant families and includes case examples that illustrate those challenges. The DCF web site now includes a page specifically focused on more information to families and agencies working with immigrant families. Click here.
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS STAND UP TO CHIPOTLE by David Bacon in The Nation analyzes the firings and the workers' responses.
For a careful look at the efforts of the U.S. government to enforce the borders, see Migration Policy Institute & the European University Institute, The Evolution of Border Controls as a Mechanism to Prevent Illegal Immigration.
The Washington Post reported that the immigration authorities at the Department of Homeland Security have still not come to internal agreement about the Secure Communities program despite nearly a year of criticism from local law enforcement, advocates and community leaders around the country. The program has been controversial since its inception and has been plagued by shifting definitions and unanswered questions.
The following is a statement from Brittney Nystrom, Director of Policy and Legal Affairs for the National Immigration Forum.
“For months, the National Immigration Forum has been sounding the alarm about this program because it erodes the trust that communities place in their local law enforcement agencies and disrupts community policing efforts. Scant safeguards for civil rights or necessary oversight create the potential for abuse and profiling. Yesterday’s story in the Post is only the latest controversy surrounding this confusing program.
In October, the Post revealed that opting out of Secure Communities was never a possibility, despite previous assurances since the program’s inception that localities had a choice about whether to participate. Law enforcement and elected officials in San Francisco, CA and Arlington, VA met repeatedly with ICE over the last year to terminate their participation, only to be told in October that they had no control over it. Now, internal DHS documents have revealed that while the Secretary was telling the nation that participation in the program was not a choice for local communities, her subordinates were telling some individual municipalities that they would be able to opt out.
This is another episode in a long saga of confusion, turmoil, and mismanagement surrounding Secure Communities. For nearly two years, DHS swore that the program was completely voluntary. Legitimate concerns about this program led several localities to opt out, only to be told later they didn’t have a choice in the matter. Confusion and contradiction does not inspire confidence, breeds distrust and makes it more difficult for local law enforcement to do their jobs.
At the same time, DHS seems hurried to deploy the program, despite unanswered questions and confusion. The program is expected to be deployed nationwide by 2013 and $184 million has been budgeted for 2012 alone. Although the program operates exclusively in jails, Secure Communities resulted in nearly as many non-criminal deportations in 2010 as deportations of Level 1 offenders. Aside from yet again straying from ICE’s enforcement priorities, these results raise serious concerns about how the program enables racial profiling and increases arrests of individuals who are not committing crimes. DHS should get its house in order before a rush to expand the program and asking Congress for even more money. Enforcement programs must be accountable, trustworthy, and efficient in the use of taxpayer funds. Secure Communities meets none of these benchmarks.
DHS must immediately clarify the rules that govern Secure Communities. Secretary Napolitano should take immediate steps to end the discrepancy between her words and those of her subordinates, and allow local communities to make up their own minds about participation in Secure Communities."
For more information on Secure Communities, visit: http://www.immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/Secure_Communities.pdf
Here are some new immigration articles from teh Social Science Research Network:
"Executive Deference in U.S. Refugee Law: Internationalist Paths Through and Beyond Chevron" Duke Law Journal, Vol. 60, No. 5, pp. 1059-1122, 2011 UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2011-15 BASSINA FARBENBLUM, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law. ABSTRACT: When Congress amended U.S. immigration law via the Refugee Act of 1980, it did so with the explicit purpose of bringing U.S. asylum law into conformity with the nation’s international refugee treaty obligations. Nevertheless, U.S. courts interpreting domestic asylum provisions routinely discount international legal norms, labouring under the mistaken perception that the Chevron doctrine requires deference to the executive agency’s interpretation of asylum law regardless of its compatibility with international law. As a result, domestic asylum law has become jurisprudentially unmoored from international refugee law to the serious detriment of asylum seekers. This Article argues that neither Chevron nor the policies underlying it compel the lockstep deference that courts afford the Board of Immigration Appeals’ interpretation of U.S. asylum law. The Article charts two alternate paths by which courts may reject agency statutory interpretations that are inconsistent with international refugee law: a route through Chevron that navigates within existing Supreme Court jurisprudence, and a route beyond Chevron based on the limited applicability of this administrative law doctrine to the asylum-adjudication context. Addressing further impediments to the reconciliation of domestic and international law, the Article demonstrates that courts are indeed capable of applying a coherent interpretive methodology to determine the content of refugee treaty obligations, particularly if engaged by government lawyers committed to reestablishing the international legality of U.S. practice. In seeking to remove a fundamental administrative law obstacle to the implementation of international refugee law, the Article lends impetus to broader scholarly efforts to align U.S. law with this nation’s international human rights obligations. It also provides a framework that enables courts, immigration attorneys, and government policymakers to situate U.S. asylum law in the more rights-protective context that Congress intended.
"Citizenship and Diaspora: A State Home for Transnational Politics?" POLITICS FROM AFAR: TRANSNATIONAL DIASPORAS AND NETWORKS, Terrance Lyons, Peter Mandaville, eds., Hurst/Columbia University Press, 2011 PETER J. SPIRO, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law. ABSTRACT: This paper, a revised version of which will appear in Politics from Afar: Transnational Diasporas and Networks (Hurst/Columbia University Press), explores the legal status of citizenship as a vehicle for diaspora and globalized forms of community. The paper focuses on the rise in the acceptance of plural citizenship and the expansion of external citizen rights, especially political rights. Citizenship’s increasing flexibility enhances state capacity to comprehend diaspora, that is, to allow the state to serve as the agent of diaspora community. Because individuals who are, as a matter of social fact, members in diaspora communities can now express and actualize that attachment through the citizenship tie, the state would seem a plausible home to diaspora. The trend towards extending full political rights to nonresident citizens is consistent with this hypothesis. These developments do not necessarily establish citizenship as a sustainable home for diaspora, however. The extension of citizenship rights to diaspora communities may not evidence a strong tie. Little is required of external citizens. In most cases, external citizens who naturalize in their new state of residence maintain their original citizenship as a default. The cost of retaining original citizenship is effectively zero. Electoral participation rates among external citizens are low. There may also be normative issues with the state acting as institutional home of diaspora resulting from the continuing territorial governance authorities of the state. These concerns might be addressed by detaching citizenship from territorial governance, composing a polity to include both internal and external citizen populations, then devolving territorial governance to a sub-entity with respect to which voting participation rights would be limited to resident citizens. But this device would not address homeland interests on the part of external citizens and rising circular migration. Citizenship and the state may thus fall short as institutional vehicles for political diaspora.
"Forced Marriage and the Exoticization of Gendered Harms in United States Asylum Law" Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2011 JENNI MILLBANK, University of Technology, Sydney - Faculty of Law. CATHERINE DAUVERGNE, UBC Faculty of Law. ABSTRACT: While claims of forced marriage or pressure to marry represent only a tiny portion of refugee claims overall, they provide an illuminating sliver reflecting the major recurring themes in gender and sexuality claims from recent decades. Refusal to marry is a flashpoint for expressing non-conformity with expected gender roles for heterosexual women, lesbians and gay men. This paper presents results from our study of 168 refugee decisions from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States where part of the claim for refugee protection concerned actual or threatened forced marriage. In the present discussion, we highlight our findings from the cases from the United States while detailed findings regarding the broader international data set are published elsewhere. We find that the United States is far behind Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom in terms of analyzing gender-related persecution. In addition to not finding a single case with a straightforward holding that forced marriage in and of itself could constitute persecution, we also did not find any engagement with international human rights standards. Of the few cases that were successful on a substantive basis, we found that the underlying facts reflect an extreme exoticization of the women involved.
"The Very Uneasy Case Against Remittances: An Ex Ante Perspective" North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 88, No. 5, 2010 Tulane Public Law Research Paper No. 1726075 ADAM FEIBELMAN, Tulane University - Law School. ABSTRACT: Money that individual migrants send back to their home countries has become a major source of foreign exchange for many developing and emerging economies. These remittances now represent a sizable percentage of the gross domestic product for many states; for some, remittance inflows are larger than all other sources of foreign capital. In recent years, scholars, policy makers, and international financial institutions have tended to view remittance inflows as a net benefit for recipient countries. Given the size of these transfers in the aggregate and their relationship to labor migration, it is essential for policy makers and scholars to continue to critically assess the effects of remittances and remittance policies on workers, the states that receive these remittances, and the states from which these remittances are sent. This Article argues that the existing literature on remittances almost universally underestimates the overall costs and negative effects of remittances and remittance-driven migration by failing to include various costs and harms borne by migrating workers and their families. If these costs were included in efforts to measure the overall impact of remittance flows, it is at least possible that remittances and remittance-driven migration would represent a net loss for some states and their citizens. If the overall impact of remittances is not positive for any particular state, then policy makers in that state may want to consider adopting policies to reduce or limit remittance-driven migration. They might, for example, avoid or scale back managed labor-migration programs. Depending on the particular circumstances of their state, they might also consider policies that reduce workers’ incentives to migrate for the purpose of earning money to remit home, including taxation of remittance flows, currency exchange controls, or liberalization of exchange rate policies. At the very least, if states’ current policies affecting capital inflows are based on a comfortable assumption that remittance inflows are broadly beneficial, this assumption should be reexamined to explicitly account for the costs and harms borne by workers and their families.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Nominate someone who inspires YOU to receive the
Freedom From Fear Award
The Freedom From Fear Award is a new national award that will honor fifteen ordinary people who have committed extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees — individuals who have taken a risk, set an example, and inspired others to awareness or action.
The Freedom From Fear Award is a project of Public Interest Projects. The award seeks to honor unsung heroes who are not professional advocates. Based on nominations from people like you, awardees will receive a $5,000 cash award.
The deadline for nominations is February 28, 2011.
What you can do:
Nominate someone before Feb. 28, 2011: http://freedomfromfearaward.com/nominate
Watch and share our latest video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50lA1MDNOXI
"Like" the award on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FFFAward
Follow the award on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FFFAward
Share information about the award through your networks (e-newsletters, blog, Facebook, Twitter).
From the Immigration Policy Center:
Join the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) on Facebook and Help Us Share the Facts on Immigration!
Although Valentine's Day has come and gone, it's never too late to share the love by "Liking" the IPC on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Immigration-Policy-Center/122037065517.
And if you're already an IPC fan, help us spread the facts on immigration by posting IPC on your wall and asking your friends to check us out.
IPC strives to keep you informed with the latest immigration news, facts and changes in policy through our reports, fact checks, and blog posts. Joining the IPC on Facebook allows you to stay informed, share the facts and add your voice to the immigration debate.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
From ACLU of Northern California:
ACLU to Sheriffs: Immigration-Based Policing Too Costly
New Report Details Ways to Lawfully Boost Public Safety, Limit Costs
SAN FRANCISCO – In a letter to sheriffs, the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) called on sheriffs across California to cease costly and harmful practices that target immigrant communities. The call accompanies a report highlighting personal stories, cost data and proposals to protect public safety while reducing the fiscal and human costs of local enforcement practices that target immigrants.
"Most law enforcement officers do not want to double as federal immigration agents. They know that it discourages witnesses and victims of crime from coming forward and ultimately harms public safety for everyone," said ACLU-NC Staff Attorney Julia Harumi Mass. "We want to partner with law enforcement agencies and share what we have learned: that sheriffs and police chiefs across California can adopt practices that protect everyone and make wise use of taxpayer dollars."
The report is informed by meetings and correspondence with communities across Northern California and over twenty law enforcement agencies including: Sacramento Police Department, Santa Clara County Counsel, Santa Rita Jail, Santa Rosa Police Department, San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco Sheriff's Department, San Mateo Sheriff's Office, and Tehama County Sheriff 's Office. It quotes retired Sacramento Police Chief Art Venegas, Berkeley Police Chief Mike Meehan, former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton and several other law enforcement leaders.
"The federal government is not playing fair with local police and sheriffs. Most don't want to engage in the dirty work of immigration enforcement or take on its steep costs," added report author Amalia Greenberg Delgado. "At a time of shrinking police departments' staff and budgets, we hope California's law enforcement leadership will review unnecessarily costly practices and rebuild trust with communities."
The report reviews the legal framework for current police practices in immigrant communities – from vehicle checkpoints and impoundments to prolonged detention of immigrants in local jails, among others. Details are included on the financial and human costs of these practices, including several personal stories.
"People fear that when the sheriff is called, ICE is not far behind. This is a huge problem especially in regards to domestic violence," added Mass. "If victims are reluctant to call local police because they are afraid of becoming ensnared in the ICE web, then batterers enjoy impunity. That's bad for everyone."
The report notes that California's large undocumented immigrant population creates significant pressures and challenges for peace officers and departments. Yet residents with immigrant backgrounds – regardless of immigration status – can mistakenly become targets of unwanted law enforcement attention. This increases local liability risks for law enforcement agencies; the report includes a sample of lawsuits against local law enforcement agencies for actions related to immigration enforcement, including racial profiling.
- ACLU's letter to sheriffs
- Report: "Costs and Consequences: The High Price of Policing Immigrant Communities."
- Summary of cost-saving proposals from the ACLU
According to AILA, the house is trying to pass two amendments to the Continuing resolution barring the expenditure of DOJ funds on fighting SB1070. They urge indivduals to contact their legislatures regarding these proposed amendments. AILA's website is www.aila.org.
Check out this amazing immigration symposium issue of the Fordham Urban Law Journal. Here is the table of contents:
WELCOME TO AMERIZONA—IMMIGRANTS OUT!: ASSESSING “DYSTOPIAN DREAMS” AND “USABLE FUTURES” OF IMMIGRATION REFORM, AND CONSIDERING WHETHER “IMMIGRATION REGIONALISM” IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME by Keith Aoki & John Shuford
THE RISE AND FALL OF EMPLOYER SANCTIONS by David Bacon & Bill Ong Hing
COMPASSIONATE IMMIGRATION REFORM by Steven W. Bender
BORDER EXCEPTIONALISM IN THE ERA OF MOVING BORDERS by Jennifer M. Chacón
BECAUSE YOU’RE MINE, I WALK THE LINE∗: THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE FAMILY VISA PROGRAM by Evelyn H. Cruz
ATTRACTING THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST: A CRITIQUE OF THE CURRENT U.S. IMMIGRATION SYSTEM by Chris Gafner & Stephen Yale-Loehr
LESSONS LEARNED, LESSONS LOST: IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT’S FAILED EXPERIMENT WITH PENAL SEVERITY by Teresa A. Miller
ASYLUM RIGHTS AND WRONGS: WHAT THE PROPOSED REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT WILL DO AND WHAT MORE WILL NEED TO BE DONE by Michele R. Pistone
DECRIMINALIZING BORDER CROSSINGS by Victor C. Romero
IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT VERSUS EMPLOYMENT LAW ENFORCEMENT: THE CASE FOR INTEGRATED PROTECTIONS IN THE IMMIGRANT WORKPLACE by Leticia M. Saucedo
MAKING THE CASE FOR CHANGING U.S. POLICY REGARDING HIGHLY SKILLED IMMIGRANTS by Peter H. Schuck & John E. Tyler
IMMIGRATION AS URBAN POLICY by Rick Su
ENTERING THE MAINSTREAM: MAKING CHILDREN MATTER IN IMMIGRATION LAW by David B. Thronson
MEXICAN FAMILIES & UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION REFORM by Bernard Trujillo
Has the World Gone Mad? Florida Athletic Association Tries to Bar High School from State Basketball Playoffs Because of Immigration Status of Star Player
CNN reports on a troubling story from Mexico. Yesterday, gunmen opened fire on two U.S. immigration agents in Mexico, killing one and injuring the other. The two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were attacked while driving between Mexico City and Monterey. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released a statement on the killing. The shooting took place about 23 miles north of downtown Mexico City. The agents reportedly were doing "routine work" on a well-traveled highway in an armored car with diplomatic plates. They were forced off the road and surrounded by a group of more than 10 people.
From the Bookshelves: Give Refuge to the Stranger The Past, Present, and Future of Sanctuary by Linda Rabben
The concept of sanctuary—giving refuge to the threatened, vulnerable stranger—is universal and older than human society. From its origins in primate populations, to its elaboration in ancient religious traditions, to the modern legal institution of asylum, Linda Rabben tells the story of sanctuary as it evolved over thousands of years. She then examines asylum today, analyzing policy in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia and linking them to the experiences of courageous individuals to show how immigration and asylum are under attack around the world. Her expert account offers critical context for understanding current political debates and is a stimulating, literate text accessible to undergraduates as well as the general public.
From the Bookshelves: State Power and Democracy Before and During the Presidency of George W. Bush by Andrew Kolin
Torture. Secret prisons. Wiretaps on Americans. Even with a new president in the White House, daily headlines contain disturbing revelations about how the United States conducts itself in the “war on terror.” While other books have analyzed specific, shocking issues about the war on terror, there is a surprising disconnect in them: they don’t connect the actions of the George W. Bush administration to those of previous administrations. State Power and Democracy is the first to do that. It shows that the Bush police state didn’t commence when Bush was inaugurated. It proves, instead, that the seeds of an American police state can be traced all the way back to the founding of the republic.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In this month's Policy Beat, Migration Policy Institute's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report on the termination of the Secure Border Initiative Network, the status of the USCIS Transformation project, and more. In January, the Obama administration put an end to a costly program to build a "virtual fence" along the southwest border of the United States. The move, which comes after several years of continued political support for the program despite major setbacks in its implementation, garnered little press and political attention.
To provide perspective, the Immigration Policy Center releases Is More Getting Us Less? Real Solutions for Securing our Border by Eric Olson and David Shirk. Their research at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego has shown that record levels of spending on border security have, in fact, made our border less secure. That spending, coupled with a lack of legal avenues for entry, have become a boon to the criminal cartels who have capitalized on a growing industry of smuggling migrants into the U.S. Enhanced security has also had the unintended consequence of interrupting historical, cyclical flows of migration, where migrants would come and go seasonally. The authors disentangle the multitude of issues that arise along the border, and make solid recommendations for seriously tackling our border problems.