Saturday, February 26, 2011
From the Associated Press:
Federal authorities say a six-day sweep of South Florida has netted 19 undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the operation that ended Thursday also caught four fugitives with final orders of deportation and one person who previously had been deported.
All 24 people were arrested for being in violation of immigration law. All are being held by ICE pending removal from the United States. Read more....
Bruce Drake writes for Politics Daily:
While Americans still favor strong measures to crack down on undocumented immigration, they oppose proposals to change the Constitution so that children born here to illegal immigrants would not automatically become citizens, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted Feb. 2-7.
Proposals to deny citizenship to what immigration hardliners call "anchor babies" born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrant parents are unpopular with the public. Fifty-seven percent oppose changing the Constitution's 14th amendment that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on American soil. Thirty-nine percent favor changing the amendment and 4 percent are undecided. Read more....
Friday, February 25, 2011
From the Associated Press:
Federal authorities can now screen the immigration status of arrestees in every county in California.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that the last six counties were hooked up to the so-called Secure Communities program this week.
Through January, the agency had arrested 65,000 people in California who were identified through the program. Immigration officials say more than 70 percent of them had a criminal conviction.
The program began in California in 2009 and is currently being rolled out across the nation.
Under the program, arrestees' fingerprints are checked against Department of Homeland Security records and immigration officials are notified when there is a hit.
The program has faced ardent criticism from immigrant advocates who say involving local police in immigration enforcement discourages undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes. Read more...
Listen at this link to a Takeaway interview on Arizona's latest immigration laws. Almost a year ago, key parts of Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law SB 1070 were declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. But this week, more than a dozen anti-immigration bills were introduced in the state. One bill would allow Arizona to build its own wall between it and Mexico. Another would require hospitals to check the legal status of patients. And the bill’s supporters are hoping that this time around, they can face down the feds by asserting state’s rights. Illegal immigrants would be barred from driving in the state, enrolling in school or receiving most public benefits. Their children would receive special birth certificates that would make clear that the state does not consider them Arizona citizens. Christopher "Buzz" Conover, reporter at KUAT Public Radio, joins The Takeawy from Tucson.
From the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project:
Years after being wrongfully detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Rennison Castillo, a United States citizen and Army veteran, is finally receiving an apology and just compensation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In November of 2005, Mr. Castillo had just completed his sentence for violation of a protection order and harassment. Instead of being released from jail, he was transferred to the custody of ICE, which held him at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA for the next seven and a half months. During his detention, Mr. Castillo, who was born in Belize but became a United States citizen in 1998 while serving in the U.S. Army, repeatedly explained to several different ICE officers, and then to an Immigration Judge, how he had not only been naturalized as a U.S. citizen, but had also honorably served this country in the U.S. military. ICE claimed that Mr. Castillo was in the country illegally and began deportation proceedings against him.
Like other immigration detainees faced with deportation, Mr. Castillo was not entitled to a court-appointed attorney, and he could not afford to hire a private attorney. He was only released after Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) took up his case on appeal.
Subsequently, Mr. Castillo received assistance from NWIRP attorneys Matt Adams and Angélica Cházaro, who agreed to represent him against the ICE officers who were responsible for his detention.
"What was most disturbing to me in reviewing this case was the callous indifference of the ICE officials," said his attorney, Matt Adams. "We knew we had to take some sort of action to try to prevent this abuse of power from happening again in the future."
After learning of the case, the law firm of K&L Gates agreed to provide pro bono representation to Mr. Castillo. K&L Gates lawyers representing Mr. Castillo included Douglas Greenswag, Theo Angelis, and Kymberly Evanson. Theo Angelis, a partner with K&L Gates and one of Castillo's attorneys explained: "Our soldiers deserve honor, respect, and justice. We are proud of helping Mr. Castillo obtain an apology and just compensation."
The government agreed to enter settlement negotiations after a federal district court judge denied the government's motion to dismiss. In addition to the damages award and the formal statement of regret, DHS announced a revised policy to help prevent similar incidents in the future.
The National Constitution Center is holding an program on birthright citizenship and immigration reform and birthright citizenship on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 5:30pm. Admission is free, but reservations are required.
The program is part of the 2011 Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution. Jeff Greenfield, senior political correspondent for CBS News, will facilitate the conversation. The event also will include John Eastman, Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law at Chapman University School of Law; State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA/12); Jorge Mursuli, president and CEO of Democracia Ahora; the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell; and Cecillia Wang, Managing Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants' Rights Project.
With the Asian American Law Journal, Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice and Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, the California Law Review presents: Inside Out: The New Borders of Immigration Policy Thursday, February 24 - Thursday, March 3, 2011 UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) Berkeley.
In the past two decades, immigration policy debates have largely shifted away from concerns about who can enter the United States to instead focus on how we regulate immigrants who are already here. At the same time, advocacy across the political spectrum has increasingly attached legal and political import to immigrants' performance of their identities in ways that either reinforce or destabilize our beliefs about who immigrants are. Anti-immigrant rhetoric frequently invokes racist, sexist, homophobic, and Christian fundamentalist imagery to suggest that recent immigrants are a bad fit for the United States. Meanwhile, immigrants' rights advocates assert that the stereotypes lurking beneath current immigration law and policy ignore the incredible diversity of immigrant America. At the core of both groups' advocacy, though generally unspoken, are deeply-held convictions about the identity of America itself.
In partnership with the Asian American Law Journal, Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, and Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, this symposium seeks to foster a conversation that foregrounds the role of identity in immigration law and policy and in current discourses around immigration reform.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
UC Berkeley School of Law’s Warren Institute today released a new report that analyzes the complex legal and policy issues surrounding U.S. immigration enforcement in the U.S. The new report, Borders, Jails, and Jobsites: An Overview of Federal Immigration Enforcement Programs in the U.S. explains the intent of federal programs that target noncitizens—and the unintended consequences.
Despite current economic constraints, the federal government continues to escalate funding for enforcement programs. In this year’s budget request, the White House seeks approximately $5.5 billion for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, $55 million more than was allocated last year. But do these programs work—or is the U.S. throwing money away on failed policies?
Co-authors Aarti Kohli and Deepa Varma describe the primary actors and programs; present specific concerns identified by scholars, advocates and researchers; and offer substantive reform recommendations. Recommendations for Congress and the administration include:
• Eliminate Operation Streamline and return to pre-existing practices of removing migrants through the civil immigration system.
• Limit expedited removal to individuals apprehended at ports of entry, as opposed to those stopped in the interior of the United States.
• Work with Mexican authorities to count border deaths accurately
Federal Partnerships with Local Police
• Investigate the implementation of the Criminal Alien Program before allocating additional sums for the expansion of the program
• Support additional research to understand how deportation policies impact transnational gangs.
• Change Secure Communities regulations so that it focuses on violent high-level offenders only and no longer sends fingerprints of all arrestees to the Department of Homeland Security Workplace Enforcement
• Examine the impact of current E-verify expansions before making the program mandatory for more employers.
• Coordinate immigration worksite enforcement activities with the Department of Labor to target employers engaged in labor violation.
• Develop and implement a model of civil detention, including alternatives to detention, as soon as possible based on best practices from international models, and develop corresponding standards for detention conditions.
• Create a single medical records system for all detainees and develop a method to access complete medical histories of those in custody.
• House detainees as geographically close as possible to the location of the individual’s apprehension.
This report on immigration enforcement policies and practices was prepared for the bi-national research initiative, U.S.-Mexico Migration Dialogue, which is coordinated by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Mexico Institute. A presentation of a draft of preliminary findings was made at the Wilson Center in November 2010. It is intended as a resource for policymakers, scholars and advocates.
From America's Voice:
Lugar Challenger Mourdock Out of Step with Immigration Approach Advocated by Indiana Leaders
Washington – This week, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock announced his plans to run against Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) for the Republican nomination in the 2012 Senate race. Despite his great “respect” for Senator Lugar, Mourdock cites a litany of “reasons” he has chosen to challenge the long-time senator. A number of them include Senator Lugar’s attempts to forge bipartisan consensus and get things done. Near the top of his list, according to Mourdock, is Lugar’s work on the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to earn legal status if they graduate from high school and enroll in college or the U.S. military.
“It’s bizarre that Mourdock would challenge Senator Lugar for being too ‘bipartisan’ and attempting to get things done in Washington,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice. “It’s also deeply disturbing that he would single out Senator Lugar’s work on the DREAM Act as a ‘reason’ to challenge him. When is it ever a bad thing to allow bright and talented young people to enroll in college or serve in the military, in the only country they know as home?”
When it comes to immigration, Mourdock is practicing tired old wedge politics, in sharp contrast to the Indiana leaders who have rallied around common sense approaches like those embraced by Senator Lugar. Recently, leaders such as the Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, President of Marian University, mayors, and members of the business community endorsed the Indiana Compact as a pragmatic, solutions-oriented approach to the problem of illegal immigration. The principles of the Compact stress the need for federal action on common sense immigration reforms that respect the rule of law, promote family unity, and strengthen the economy—principles that are in line with Senator Lugar’s work on behalf of the DREAM Act.
The Indiana Compact was developed in response to a more divisive battle raging in the Indiana state house, where a faction of state lawmakers is hoping to bring an Arizona-style anti-immigration law to the Hoosier state. As is true in other states where Arizona-style laws are being considered, Indiana’s SB 590 is drawing strong opposition from various facets of society. Roland Dorson, President of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, noted the potential economic damage of SB 590, saying, “We don't want to become Arizona, where there is empirical evidence that they have suffered from passage of that law…We don't want to hang out a shingle that says, 'No entry.' This is two steps backward." Leading Indiana agricultural figures, such as the head of the Indiana Farm Bureau, have also expressed opposition to SB 590 and fear its effects on the agricultural industry in the state. And, according to the Indianapolis Star, “Eli Lilly and Co., Cummins and some other major Indiana businesses have expressed worry that it would hinder economic development.” With a combined market cap of $62 billion, Eli Lilly and Cummins have expressed specific worry that their “ability to recruit and retain” a competitive workforce will suffer and that “these jobs will simply go elsewhere” if the new Arizona copy-cat law is enacted.
“The immigration debate in Indiana illustrates the two choices policymakers face today. They can either engage in divisive wedge politics and continue to block progress on common sense immigration reform, or they can roll up their sleeves and work on a bipartisan basis to advance real, pragmatic immigration solutions. Smart policymakers will stand with the mayors, business leaders, and other pillars of society who are tired of the rhetoric, tired of politics as usual, and are demanding action on real, comprehensive immigration reform,” Tramonte concluded.
Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2009 by the Pew Hispanic Center: This statistical profile of the Latino population is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. It covers the topics previously covered in the long form of the decennial census. The ACS is designed to provide estimates of the size and characteristics of the resident population, which includes persons living in households and group quarters.
Amidst the announcement that the Obama administration is backing off of its defense of DOMA, the news that the administration is recognizing same sex partners for for foreign diplomats entering the U.S. got lost:
Erica Pearson writes for the Daily News:
There's no getting around a bar on U.S. immigration benefits for same-sex couples - unless you're a diplomat.
The State Department sent a cable this month to personnel worldwide informing U.S. citizen employees about a new major exception: if they're posted to the States, their foreign same-sex partners can get a special visa to live and work here legally.
The program quietly went into effect Feb. 9, providing the temporary J-1 visa that commonly goes to visiting scholars or au pairs, a State Department official confirmed Tuesday.
Even as they celebrate the move, some gay New Yorkers said they find the new policy unfair - State Department employees have a right that's out of reach for ordinary citizens.
"It's an important step for the Obama administration to recognize our families in this regard," said Darlene Nipper of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "All of our families should be treated fairly across the board." Read more...
The Iowa Law Review is holding a Symposium on “The Future of Legal Education” this Friday and Saturday. America’s law schools are reevaluating the way they teach the law. Recent research has suggested new techniques for legal education, and some law schools have either made pedagogical changes or are considering doing so. Iowa Law Review’s symposium, entitled “The Future of Legal Education,” will critique the prevalent methods of teaching legal education, address proposed reforms, and debate what steps law schools should take to best prepare students for the practice of law. The symposium will be held February 25–26, 2011, at the College of Law in Iowa City, Iowa. Here is the program.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Check out "Filling Labor Shortages through Immigration: An Overview of Shortage Lists and their Implications" on Migration Information Source. The report discusses what labor shortages are, how they are identified and measured, and how governments use this information in addressing recruiting difficulties in tight labor markets. The piece also discusses some of the challenges and pitfalls of analyzing perceived shortages, especially in immigration policy.
A new Southern Poverty Law Center report shows that the number of active hate groups in the United States topped 1,000 for the first time and the antigovernment “Patriot” movement expanded dramatically for the second straight year as the radical right showed continued explosive growth in 2010.
Several factors fueled the growth: resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the lagging economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at minorities and the government.
The report is in the Spring 2011 issue of the SPLC’s quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report. The Hate Map also contains a comprehensive, state-by-state listing of hate groups and their locations.
“Nativist extremist” groups – organizations that go beyond mere advocacy of restrictive immigration policy to actually confront or harass suspected undocumented immigrants or their employers – saw their numbers increase by 3 percent, from 309 groups to 319. Taken together, these three strands of the radical right – hate groups, nativist extremist groups and Patriot organizations – increased from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 in 2010, a 22 percent rise. That followed a 2008-09 increase of 40 percent.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Priority Africa Network
Invite you to:
Black Intersections on Migration
National Conversations on African, African American, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Migrations to and in the U.S.
A four-part series of teleconference briefings on timely and critical analyses of migration, race, and identity.
The United Nations has declared 2011 as the “International Year for Peoples of African Descent”. Ten years ago, landmark recommendations were made at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban South Africa. In a four-part series of teleconferences that looks at the span of Black presence in the U.S. over the centuries, we will examine the unique migration experiences of the African Diaspora within the context of U.S. history and the current debate over immigration. The series brings provocative frameworks and analyses into the discussion about race and immigration that are seldom considered.
You can listen to Teleconference I, a presentation by Professor Rhonda Magee of the University of San Francisco Law School on "Slavery as Immigration?", at
African American Migrations--The Exodus from the U.S. South
Thursday, February 24, Noon Pacific, 1PM Mountain, 2PM Central & 3PM Eastern
An Interview with Isabel Wilkerson, Author of "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration"
Our speaker Walter Turner is unable to be a part of the teleconference. Instead, we will listen to a 24-minute taped interview with
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson who wrote the epic
book, "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration". We will then have a discussion about the impact of The Great Migration on the African American community and on the United States as a whole. We will also talk about parallels with immigration to the United States, a comparison that Ms. Wilkerson alludes to in her interview.
In her review of the book, Janet Maslin of the New York Times wrote, "Ms. Wilkerson works on a grand, panoramic scale but also on a very intimate one, since this work of living history boils down to the tenderly told stories of three rural Southerners who immigrated to big cities from their hometowns."
Toll-free Dial-in (US/Canada): 1-866-931-7845
International Dial-in: 1-310-374-4949
Conference Code: 707591
Please RSVP by calling (510) 663-2254 or sending an email to email@example.com
Teleconference III – Thursday, March 31: New African Immigrants—Grappling with Concepts of Race and Identity
Speaker: Jackie Copeland Carson, PhD, President Copeland-Carson and Associates and author of “Creating Africa in America: Translocal Identity in an Emerging World City”.
Teleconference IV – Thursday, April 28: The Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino Migrations to the U.S.
Speaker: Janvieve Williams Comrie, Executive Director, Latin American and Caribbean Community Center
All briefings are at Noon Pacific, 1PM Mountain, 2PM Central & 3PM Eastern
"China's One-Child Policy and the Mystery of Missing Women: Ethnic Minorities and Male-Biased Sex Ratios" Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 73, No. 1, pp. 21-39, 2010 ERWIN H. BULTE, Tilburg University - Department of Economics, Wageningen University. NICO HEERINK, Wageningen University and Research Center. XIAOBO ZHANG, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) - International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). ABSTRACT: Recent estimates suggest that as many as 40 million women are missing in China. We exploit a special provision in the Chinese one-child policy (OCP; allowing for preferential treatment of ethnic minority groups) to revisit the mystery of these missing women, and in particular to explore the contribution of China's OCP in distorting sex ratios. Our results imply that preference for boys is the main driver of the gender gap, and that the OCP is responsible for about half of it. This is true even before ultrasound technologies for prenatal gender determination were available. Not surprisingly, interaction between the OCP and ultrasound technologies has contributed to the gender gap.
"Designing Populations: Lessons in Power and Population Production from Nineteenth-Century Immigration Law" Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc, Forthcoming JULIET P. STUMPF, Lewis & Clark Law School. ABSTRACT: This response to Kerry Abrams’ insightful piece, The Hidden Dimension of 19th-Century Immigration Law, applies to modern population design the lessons Abrams excavates from the history of U.S. western migration. It employs Hidden Dimension to bring historical depth to two issues in contemporary immigration law: the integration of noncitizens into U.S. communities, and the role of federal, state, and local government and private individuals in regulating migration. Using nineteenth-century law facilitating white Christian migration as a precedent, this piece explores how the interplay between immigration regulation and mainstream law can be a leading edge in the integration of migrants into incumbent communities. Abrams’ historical tale also sheds light on the modern power of subnational governments and private decisionmakers either to disrupt or to foster the acceptance of new migrants into U.S. communities.
The Center on Digital Storytelling reports on Northern California/Pacific Northwest Region:
“My voice says…
I need to be heard
I can speak
I can call you a friend, a cousin, a brother
I can speak my mind I can tell you stories
I can sing you a song.
But how do I know what to say? what to sing?
Because I am educated.
Education is my right.”
~ Excerpt from a digital story by Jose Rodriguez, created in an open workshop (Berkeley, California)
Image from Jose Rodriguez’ story.
On January 20, Jose Rodriguez’ digital story, Education is my Right, screened at Laney College Theater in Oakland. Created in our January open workshop, the story premiered in Lesson Plans, an original stage production developed collaboratively by youth from Destiny Arts Center and Youth Speaks. Lesson Plans was commissioned by the Rex Foundation to inspire and compel action ensuring that education is available to all.
In October 2010, as part of our ongoing work on the Seattle Refugee Youth Project, we facilitated an action planning session with 18 high school storytellers and a group of University of Washington (UW) students. Seattle Youth and UW mentors planning “Voices of Migration: A Digital Storytelling Premiere”. The UW mentor students and the youth watched digital stories created by the youth about the challenges refugees face in transitioning to the United States; identified important themes in the stories; determined audiences; and began planning a community screening of the stories, scheduled for March 5th.
With funding from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and UW’s Center for Global Studies, the youth and mentors are preparing for an afternoon premiere entitled Voices of Migration, featuring the stories, cultural dance, information about volunteer opportunities, and a Q & A session with the youth storytellers. Following the premiere, there will be a VIP reception with the storytellers, their families, project partners and funders. On Friday, January 28, Seattle PBS station KCTS9 featured a story about the project. The premiere is free and open to the public, but seats are limited so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
United States-Brazil Civil Society Forum Promoting Greater Cooperation among U.S. and Brazilian Citizens
Hosted by BrazilWorks
When: Saturday, March 19, 2011 from 9am-5pm
Where: American Immigration Lawyers Association 1331 G Street, NW Washington, D.C. 2005
This forum is a gathering of individuals and organizations in the United States with close ties to Brazil. The purpose of the Forum is to develop a better understanding of our community in the U.S. and its common interests. The Forum will also discuss and debate the viability of establishing a national association to articulate and promote the interests of our community with respect to bilateral relations and cooperation with Brazilian civil society. The Forum will be hosted by BrazilWorks, but will be organized as an independent, non-partisan gathering. The proceedings will be scheduled and facilitated by the Executive co-chair, Mark Langevin, in cooperation with a panel of co-chairs representing diverse issues, interests, and organizations around the United States. Preparations for the forum will include the ad hoc composition of working groups to explore and develop briefings for a number of issues, including: immigration, bilateral civil society cooperation, government relations, environmental protection, culture and education, economic development, and organizational structure. These briefings will be incorporated into the forum’s resolution that will be discussed and ratified at the gathering.