Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ex-Nazi death camp guard Demjanjuk dies in Germany

CNN reports that former Nazi death camp guard and onetime Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk has died in Germany.The Ukraine native moved to the U.S. after World War II and raised a family and worked in the auto industry in Ohio.  After years of immigration and extradition litigation, he was finally extradited from the United States in 2009e. The accusations against Demjanjuk date to the late 1970s, when the U.S. Justice Department accused him of being a Nazi guard known as "Ivan the Terrible."

Demanjuk's U.S. citizenship was revoked in 1981, and he was extradited to Israel in 1986. He was convicted in an Israeli court in 1988 and sentenced to death, but that conviction was overturned in 1993 amid evidence that someone else was "Ivan the Terrible." A U.S. federal court restored Demjanjuk's citizenship, ruling that the government withheld evidence supporting his case. But his citizenship was revoked again in 2002 after a federal judge ruled that his 1952 entry into the United States was illegal because he hid his past as a Nazi guard.


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Criminal Clinics in the Pursuit of Immigrant Rights: Lessons from the Loncheros" by Ingrid Eagly

Ingrid Eagly
"Criminal Clinics in the Pursuit of Immigrant Rights: Lessons from the Loncheros" UC Irvine Law Review, Vol. 2, 2012 UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 12-04 INGRID V. EAGLY, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law.

ABSTRACT: In 2006, mobile catering vendors in Los Angeles — known colloquially as lunch truck vendors or loncheros — found themselves subject to a municipal ordinance that severely limited the amount of time that they could sell food in public streets. Under the new local law, catering trucks were required to move every thirty minutes (if parked in a residential zone) or sixty minutes (if parked in a commercial zone) to a location at least one-half mile away. Vendors who did not comply were subject to steep fines. This Essay examines the work of the UCLA criminal defense clinic on behalf of a grassroots group of lunch truck operators that formed to contest, and ultimately invalidate, the Los Angeles ordinance. Specifically, this Essay assesses the clinic’s effort to link an individual client’s defense to a broader community-based campaign to organize immigrant workers around legal reform. Toward this end, Part I offers a descriptive account of the loncheros’ political mobilization to challenge the Los Angeles durational restriction and of the clinic’s legal work on behalf of an individual vendor to advance that goal. Part II draws on the lonchero case study to examine three underappreciated aspects of criminal defense practice and, by extension, criminal clinics: law reform, multi-disciplinary problem solving, and community-based collaboration. In sum, this Essay contributes the story of the loncheros as a case study in clinical process, while also using it to explore alternative conceptions of the criminal defense attorney’s role.


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration "Feel Good Story": Doctor gets US citizenship certificate from immigration officer whose life he saved

Associated Press reports that a citizenship ceremony was made extra special this week for an immigration officer who presented a naturalization certificate to a doctor from Peru who saved her life with an emergency brain surgery. Before 450 people from 75 countries in the Tampa Convention Center, immigration services officer Melissa Wingerd presented Dr. Gabriel Gonzales-Portillo his naturalization certificate. "The new citizens clapped, cheered and waved U.S. flags."


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

2012 Conable Conference in International Studies Refugees, Asylum Law, and Expert Testimony: The Construction of Africa & the Global South in Comparative Perspective

2012 Conable Conference in International Studies Refugees, Asylum Law, and Expert Testimony: The Construction of Africa & the Global South in Comparative Perspective

Rochester Institute of Technology, April 12-14, 2012

sylum petitions and refugee status determinations are rich documentary archives tethered to discrete legal contexts – variously, immigration tribunals, courts of appeal, panels of experts or citizen-subjects, according to jurisdiction – by knowledge and expertise. Embedded within asylum and refugee narratives, and their successive iterations in rulings, judgments, country of origin (COI) information, appeals and precedents, are analytical categories, constructed identities, and personal narratives of fear, trauma and violence. And a paradoxical relationship is unfolding, insofar as new knowledge is produced, but it emerges in Western courts and rarely in the Global South.

Expert testimony in support of, and occasionally in opposition to, asylum petitions and refugee status determination, features prominently in North American and European courts and elsewhere. It is well known in the legal community that petitions and appeals accompanied by expert reports have a significantly greater likelihood of success. And just as courts are increasingly drawing upon expert testimony in judicial deliberations about asylum seekers and refugees, expertise is emerging as an academic “niche industry” with attendant standards, protocols and guidelines, mirroring those of legal fields with a longer tradition of expertise, such as patent, copyright and intellectual property. Moreover, while experts may often postulate from a disciplinary locus, the venues featuring and authorities drawing upon expertise increasingly expose scholarship to the interdisciplinarity of law, activism and social justice.

The conference will allow for the presentation of empirical, analytical, and theoretical scholarship from many disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives exploring how experts and legal fora construct or have historically constructed Africa, and expertise pertaining to Africa and the Global South in comparative perspective.  Click here for a link to the program.


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Transgender Immigrant Detainees Cut Off From Legal Help

New America Media has a revealing story about the access of noncitizens to attorneys while in detention.  It quotes UC Davios law professor Holly Cooper who tells about how every month or so, she and her law students visit immigrant detainees at Yuba and Contra Costa County jails to educate them about their legal rights. Although they have full access to the jail, the only way to reach those in confinement is by going to each of their cells. Jail administrators won’t let detainees in confinement out for these presentations.


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

EOIR Announces New Chief Administrative Hearing Officer

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has announced that Director Juan P. Osuna has appointed Robin M. Stutman as the new Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (CAHO), effective Mar. 26, 2012.  Stutman has served as the agency’s general counsel since August 2009.  Juan Carlos Hunt, deputy general counsel, will serve as the agency’s acting general counsel.

 Stutman was appointed as General Counsel in August 2009. She received a bachelor of arts degree in 1978 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a juris doctorate in 1982 from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. From 1987 to August 2009, Stutman served in the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice (DOJ), as a special litigation counsel, supervisory attorney, and senior trial attorney. From 1986 to 1987, she was in private practice. From 1982 to 1986, Stutman worked as a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division, DOJ, entering on duty through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. From January to May 1981, she served as an intern to the Honorable Joyce Hens Green, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Stutman is a member of the District of Columbia bar.

The Office of the CAHO is responsible for the general supervision and management of Administrative Law Judges who preside at hearings mandated by the employer sanctions, anti-discrimination and document fraud provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Chair of BIA

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has announced that the Attorney General has appointed a new Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Effective March 26, 2012, David L. Neal, previously Vice Chairman of the BIA, will serve the agency as Chairman. Mr. Neal has been the Acting Chairman of the BIA since June 2009.

Neal received a bachelor of arts degree in 1981 from Wabash College, a master’s degree in 1984 from Harvard Divinity School, and a juris doctorate in 1989 from Columbia Law School. Before joining the BIA as Vice Chairman in 2009, Neal served as Chief Immigration Judge. From 2005 to 2006, Neal served as an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge. From 2004 to 2005, he served as an Immigration Judge at the Headquarters Immigration Court. He was also special counsel to the Director of EOIR and an attorney advisor at the BIA. From 2001 to 2003, he served as chief counsel for the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. From 1993 to 1996, he practiced immigration law in Los Angeles. Previously, he was the director of policy analysis for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  Neal is a member of the District of Columbia and New York State Bars.

The BIA is responsible for hearing appeals of decisions rendered by immigration judges in removal cases brought by the Department of Homeland Security.


March 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Racial Isolation in San Francisco Public Schools

From the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights:

San Francisco Unified School District Report Shows San Francisco Schools Remain Racially Isolated
Lawyers’ Committee Calls for Changes to Student Assignment Plan

Contact: Suman Murthy, 415-543-9444 x218,

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – This week, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (Lawyers’ Committee) called on the San Francisco Unified School District (District) to take more aggressive steps to reduce racial isolation in the city’s public schools after the District released findings that its new student assignment policy has had virtually no impact in reversing the trend of racial isolation.

The District’s new student assignment policy, adopted in March 2010, relies on a choice-based model for determining student placement. In this model, students rank their top school choices and are admitted using tie-breakers when the number of requests exceed the number of seats at a school. The District posited this plan would increase racial diversity in San Francisco’s schools, but findings from the report – published by the District earlier this month – show the city’s schools continue to remain racially isolated with underserved students concentrated in the District’s lowest-performing schools.

The number of racially isolated schools actually increased in the 2011-2012 school year, the first year of the new student assignment plan, from 23 to 24 (SFUSD Report, p. 30). Moreover, the percent of students attending a racially isolated school increased from 18% to 20% (SFUSD Report, p. 31).

Board policy mandates that the District Superintendent recommend changes to the student assignment plan if the plan is not effective in reducing racial isolation, defined by the District as having “more than 60% of a single racial/ethnic group” at a single school (SFUSD Report, p. 17). “It is clear that the current student assignment plan has fallen far short of achieving its goal of reversing the trend of racial isolation in San Francisco’s schools,” said Cecilia Chen, Thurgood Marshall Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee. “The District must uphold its duty to reduce racial isolation in its classrooms and ensure that our schools reflect and benefit from the diversity of our city.”

Other findings in the report raise concerns about the effectiveness of the student assignment plan in reducing racial isolation and improving equity in San Francisco’s schools. The tie-breaker for students who live in areas of the city with the lowest average standardized test scores (CTIP1), which was created to promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, has had little impact in reducing the number of racially isolated schools (SFUSD Report, p. 37). Additionally revealing was evidence that applicants’ school choices often differed by race and ethnic group, resulting in segregated applicant pools (SFUSD Report, p. 18).

Other school districts consider race as one of many factors in determining student assignment, and California courts have held such plans to be constitutional. Lawyers’ Committee Executive Director Kimberly Thomas Rapp commented, “The District made a commitment to its students to take more proactive steps to reduce racial isolation. Race-conscious measures may be part of an effective and constitutionally viable remedy to this issue facing our schools.”

In light of the report’s findings and following Board policy requirements to address racial isolation, the Superintendent should consider recommending the following:

Incorporate race-conscious measures into the student assignment plan. Courts have consistently recognized that communities have a vital interest in integrated schools, and that districts may therefore properly consider race as one of many factors in the assignment process. Moreover, studies have shown that the use of race-conscious measures is the most effective way to achieve racial diversity in public schools.
Place magnet and highly desirable educational programs at racially isolated, underperforming schools. The District must take steps to change choice patterns. Educational programs, such as dual language immersion, are highly sought after throughout the District, and could provide incentives for parents to make diverse choices in selecting schools.
Targeted outreach to CTIP1 communities. Families living in CTIP1 areas must be able to make informed choices in order to participate equally in the student assignment process. Targeted outreach to families living in CTIP1 areas is necessary and must include education on the CTIP1 tie-breaker and its significance.
Establish academic diversity goals at each school. The District currently reserves a minimum of 20% of seats at each high school for students living in CTIP1 areas. Per an earlier recommendation by the Lawyers’ Committee, the District should consider expanding this policy to elementary schools.

To view the District's full report, click here.


March 16, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Attorney Position at Arab Resource Center--San Francisco

From AROC:

Immigration Lawyer needed immediately!

Over the last 5 years, AROC has been able to help hundreds of low and moderate-income San Francisco and Bay Area residents with free immigration services. We are one of few resources available for Arabic speakers providing services, education, and community organizing. If you are interested in becoming part of the AROC team, love working with people, and want to be part of making a real change in the lives of Bay Area Arab immigrants, send in your applications to

Job Announcement

Position: Full Time Immigration Attorney

Salary: $48,000-55,000 depending on experience

Benefits: Excellent health benefits, BAR membership, malpractice insurance

Deadline: March 28, 2012


The Staff Attorney will be responsible for providing free immigration legal services to primarily Arab and Muslim clients through Arab American Legal Services (AALS), San Francisco’s first free immigration service for the Arab community. The Staff Attorney will also supervise the casework of the Legal and Outreach Coordinator and law student interns, collaborate with a Network of organizations on community education training's, and participate in coalition and other collaborative activities aimed to educate, organize, and advocate on behalf of the community.


AALS is a program of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, a grassroots organization working to empower and organize our community towards justice and self-determination for all. AROC members build community power in the Bay Area by participating in leadership development, political education, and campaigns.

The immigration legal program was started in 2007 in conjunction with the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Education Network a network of 13 multi-racial organizations working in outreach, organizing, education and legal services to provide comprehensive support to San Francisco’s immigrant communities.


· Minimum of one year experience working as an immigration attorney, with a strong preference for two or more years experience

· Member in good standing of any state bar

· Bilingual in English and Arabic (very strongly preferred)

· Ability to advocate on behalf of Arab and Muslim immigrants in the media, community forums, and other venues

· Ability to train and engage in leadership development with clients and volunteers

· Workshop facilitation, public speaking, or teaching/education experience

· Able to handle high volume of cases and ability to serve clients in mental health setting

· Comfortable working without supervision

· Experience in organizing, political advocacy or activism (preferred)

· Commitment to working with multi-racial coalitions

· Commitment to racial and economic justice, and immigrant rights

Casework and Supervision Responsibilities:

· Serve as legal resource to clients and community members

· Manage a high volume caseload in addition to supervising support staff and volunteers

· Prepare applications and supporting documentation, including asylum applications, VAWA, family-based, naturalizations, etc

· Experience in particular with family-based petitions, citizenship, asylum, VAWA, U visa in addition to a broad knowledge of all immigration laws in order to effectively issue spot in consultations

· Interview clients and evaluate eligibility for immigration benefits

· Occasional representation of clients before DHS and in Immigration Court

· Draft declarations, legal briefs, motions and pleadings

· Maintain accurate, complete and confidential case files

Collaboration Responsibilities:

· Maintain collaborative relationships with sister non-profits to strengthen coalitions and referral networks

· Participate in the SFILEN network and corresponding events, fairs, etc.

· Educate and empower immigrant community members regarding immigration laws and immigrant rights

· Participate and engage clients in community organizing efforts in partnership with other staff

To Apply:

· Send resume and cover letter detailing experiences

· Qualified applicants will be asked to submit references

· Deadline for applications is March 28, 2012 (please submit as soon as possible, we will be interviewing candidates on a rolling basis)

· Applicants are welcome to email or call with questions.

People of color, women, LGBTQ and immigrant candidates strongly encouraged to apply.

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, a project of Tides Center, is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related) or conditions Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions (ARC). Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.


March 16, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Politics of Skill: Rethinking the Value of “Low-Skilled” Immigrant Workers

Today, the Immigration Policy Center released The Politics of Skill: Rethinking the Value of “Low-Skilled” Immigrant Workers by Natasha Iskander and Nichola Lowe. This perspectives piece explores and challenges the standard views on “high-skilled” vs. “low-skilled” immigrant workers in the United States. The authors affirm the importance of skill in the development of immigration policy but they question the assumption that it is only derived from formal schooling and classroom education. Instead, they focus on the tacit skills of newly arrived Latino immigrant workers in the construction industry, many of whom continue to create or perfect construction techniques and carve pathways for training immigrant co-workers and new labor market entrants. By acknowledging and highlighting the underappreciated expertise of these immigrants, the authors hope future immigration policy will reflect their real value as skilled workers who revitalize laggard industries in this country, saving vital U.S. jobs and businesses along the way.


March 15, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Chant from NCAA Tourney Game: “Where’s your green card?”


Think Progress reports that, during their school’s NCAA Tournament game against Kansas State today, members of the Southern Mississippi band chanted, “Where’s your green card?” at Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez, who was born in Puerto Rico and played high school basketball in Miami.  The chant, which is hard (for me anyway) to hear on the video above, reportedly was started by Southern Miss band members.

Persons born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, are U.S. citizens.

AQnd, BTW, Kansas State beat Southern Mississippi.


March 15, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Berkeley's Chancellor Supportive of DREAM Act to Step Down

From the SF Chronicle:

Robert Birgeneau will step down as chancellor of UC Berkeley in December after eight years navigating the public university through massive budget cuts and raucous student protests, even as he maintained its status as one of the world's great research institutions.

. . . In addition to returning to the classroom as a physics professor and researcher, Birgeneau said he will advocate at the national level for the rights of undocumented students and for financial support to UC. Read more...


March 15, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Stephen L. Wasby, “Court of Appeals Dynamics in the Aftermath of a Supreme Court Ruling”

What happens in the federal courts of appeals after a major Supreme Court ruling comes down in the midst of much case activity on the subject of the ruling? How do the judges deal with the situation? What are the dynamics?  Professor Stephen L. Wasby's (SUNY-Albany) article, “Court of Appeals Dynamics in the Aftermath of a Supreme Court Ruling,” which is the subject of a SCOTUS blog posting (with a link to the article), explores the relationship between the Supreme Court and the federal courts of appeals through the story of the aftermath of the 1973 border search case of Almeida-Sanchez v. United States (1973) and its progeny.


March 15, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano

Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano (2012)

Nationally syndicated columnist and bestselling author of ¡Ask a Mexican! Gustavo Arellano presents an entertaining, tasty trip through the history and culture of Mexican food in this country, uncovering great stories and charting the cuisine’s tremendous popularity in el Norte. In the tradition of Bill Buford’s Heat and Calvin Trillin’s The Tummy Trilogy, Arellano’s fascinating narrative combines history, cultural criticism, personal anecdotes, and Jesus on a tortilla. When salsa overtook ketchup as this country’s favorite condiment in the 1990s, America’s century-long love affair with Mexican food reached yet another milestone. In seemingly every decade since the 1880s, America has tried new food trends from south of the border—chili, tamales, tacos, enchiladas, tequila, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, and so many more—loved them, and demanded the next great thing. As a result, Mexican food dominates American palates to the tune of billions of dollars in sales per year, from canned refried beans to frozen margaritas and ballpark nachos. It’s a little-known history, one that’s crept up on this country like your Mexican neighbors—and left us better for it. Now, Taco USA addresses the all-important questions: What exactly constitutes “Mexican” food in the United States? How did it get here? What’s “authentic” and what’s “Taco Bell,” and does it matter? What’s so cosmic about a burrito? And why do Americans love Mexican food so darn much? Tacos, alas, sold separately.


March 15, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

San Francisco Ordinance to Prevent Police-FBI Abuse

From the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco

Ordinance to Prevent SFPD-FBI Abuse Passes Board of Supervisors with 6 Votes!

Community disappointed by “No” votes from Progressive Supervisors Cohen and Wiener, and look to Mayor Lee for future support

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to pass an Ordinance introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim titled the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance.  The Ordinance seeks to codify pre-existing San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) protocol and Department General Orders (DGO) with respect to the SFPD’s collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

The current agreement with the FBI was signed secretly in 2007 without public, Board, or Police Commission knowledge.  At present, DGOs and San Francisco values regarding transparency, accountability, and civil rights compliance are not mandated, but may be followed simply at the will of the Officers participating in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

This has been of great concern to City residents who are requesting through this Ordinance that these laws and values be immediately codified so that the City is certain to protect against further harassment and profiling.  In particular those from marginalized and targeted communities such as the Arab, Muslim, South Asian, Queer, African American, Chinese, and other immigrant communities are concerned. 

An Arab community member who was profiled by SFPD and asked to be kept unnamed for fear of further harassment against him and his family spoke out saying “I am in constant fear for my privacy and security.  It is our hope that this ordinance will protect all of us.”

Though the Ordinance passed today on first vote, with six Supervisors speaking out strongly in support of the Ordinance, community members were disappointed by the lack of support from the other Supervisors, particularly Wiener, Cohen, and Chu who represent communities that are often victims of FBI or law enforcement harassment. 

Supervisor Wiener dissented with the Ordinance, stating “I am 100% supportive of having those local standards that reflect San Francisco values... the question for me is whether this needs to be legislated... and I don’t think it does.” Although this Ordinance would merely codify the local standards Supervisor Wiener supports, Wiener exercised his “no” vote in front of dozens of disappointed community members showing that for him their concerns do not warrant this legislation. Despite hours of prior community testimony where members of LGBTQ, African American, and Japanese communities also supported this Ordinance, Supervisor Wiener dismissed comparisons between law enforcement profiling of LGBTQ and Japanese communities and the current actions of the FBI against Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities.  Other Supervisors voting “no” declined to comment publicly during the vote. 

Board President David Chiu disagreed with Wiener’s sentiments and defended the Ordinance, “It wasn’t too long ago that Chinese Americans were detained and interrogated... it wasn’t very long ago that African Americans had their phones tapped, and that LGBTQ individuals in San Francisco were dragged from bars and harassed. Every meeting we start with the Pledge of Allegiance... we have to do our part to make sure we stand for a city with ‘liberty and justice for all’.”

Supervisor Jane Kim thanked the community members and organizations that brought this forward, and responded to the lone concerns voiced by Supervisor Wiener, stating “This ordinance does not make our City less safe, in fact I would argue that it makes our city more safe by codifying the civil rights protections we already hold sacred in San Francisco... If we really believe in these values then they deserve to be codified into law.”

Community members and representatives of the over 70 endorsing organizations see today’s vote as a step in the right direction.  “Today is a victory in the initial passage of a law that would help to protect all communities from racial profiling.  Now we call on the rest of the Supervisors and the Mayor to stand on the side of justice - support this Ordinance and take a proactive stand for civil rights,” said Nour Chammas of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

About the Coalition:  The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco is a growing grassroots alliance dedicated to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties challenged by overbroad national security policies.  These policies have historically impacted communities of struggle and today are disproportionately targeting South Asian, Arab, and Muslim Americans. For additional information, visit

Contact: Lily Haskell, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, 415.861.7444; Nasrina Bargzie, Asian Law Caucus, 415.896.1701; Zahra Billoo, Council on American Islamic Relations –SF Bay Area, 626.252.0885; Nadia Kayyali, National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area, 510.207.1040


March 14, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Olivas' (Latest) Greatest Hits

regularly posts about the insightful scholarship of Professor Michael A. Olivas, the author of several best-selling books.  Here is some of his latest immigration commentary:

Battles endure over undocumented schoolchildren, Washington Post, March 14, 2012

Federal Law and the Education of Undocumented Immigrants, JURIST - Forum, Mar. 13, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama?, October 13, 2011

MALDEF wants Gov. Martínez to abide by the law, Santa Fe New Mexican, September 3, 2012


March 14, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Law Teachers Workshop 2012

Immigration Law Teachers Workshop 2012

Date: Thursday-Saturday, May 31-June 2, 2012

Location: Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Works-in-Progress •Works-in-Progress Questionnaire.  Please return the questionnaire (PDF) to Maryellen Fullerton, at or 718-780-0376 (fax), by March 1, 2012. The drafts of papers will be due by April 1, and the papers will be distributed to workshop participants around May 10.


March 14, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Humanitarian Law Project and the Supreme Court's Construction of Terrorism" by Wadie Said


"Humanitarian Law Project and the Supreme Court's Construction of Terrorism" Brigham Young University Law Review, p. 1455, 2011 WADIE E. SAID, University of South Carolina School of Law.

ABSTRACT: This Article places the Supreme Court’s encounters with the concept of “terrorism” in historical context, and then discusses the Court's 2010 decision in Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder ("HLP") in light of that history. In so doing, the Article demonstrates how the Supreme Court’s construction of terrorism has evolved from that of a mere tactic used by subnational groups to an existential threat that must be combated, regardless of group or cause, at least rhetorically. HLP marks the first time the Supreme Court has given judicial imprimatur to the idea that “money is fungible,” i.e., that any and all funds that go to a foreign terrorist organization ("FTO"), regardless of its purpose — violent, political, or charitable — constitute material support to a banned FTO. However, the Court did not stop there, ruling that material support that takes the form of speech could be banned because it provides legitimacy to an FTO, which can only serve to strengthen its resolve to fight. This Article explains that while the government has an interest in stopping American citizens and residents from providing support that leads to violence, a criminal ban on support that bestows only legitimacy, with no link to violent activity, cannot stand when an FTO’s quarrel is not with the United States. Such a stance constitutes an impermissible prior restraint on speech in violation of the First Amendment.


March 14, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Immigrant Warning App by Heather Smith

The Immigrant Warning App: Immigrant activists have begun a campaign to raise money to create an emergency alert and personal security smartphone app that could be used by undocumented immigrants.

Todd Landfried, a spokesperson for Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, advanced the idea for the smartphone app, which wishes to ”help ensure the safety and protect the rights of people who are stopped for possible immigration violations as well as key life-threatening safety concerns.”

New America Media stated that, “A group of pro-immigrant rights activists in Arizona aim to develop a smartphone application that would help immigrants notify friends, family and their attorney if they are detained and arrested during a traffic stop.”

Undocumented Latino immigrants are no strangers to traffic stop detentions culminating in deportation proceedings. Florida residents and immigrant activists provided a petition in December 2011 with 2,000 signatures to Miami-Dade County Police Department headquarters, “calling on the department to stop its practice of stopping Latino drivers based on their racial profile.”

Landfried told New America Media that he considers that Latinos are “well-positioned to make use of such an app based on recent trends of Latinos’ usage of smartphones. According to a 2010 Nielsen Company report, 45 percent of Hispanic mobile users have a smartphone compared to just over a quarter of white mobile users.”

Smartphones have become the entryway for Latinos, African-American and low wage workers, who cannot pay for high speed broadband Internet at home.

According to a December 2011 study published by Colorlines, a racial justice media outlet, Latino and black contact to the Internet through their smart phones has become “the bridge across the Internet’s long-discussed digital divide”. This bridge is not perfect, however. It essentially creates a second Internet, “one in which people of color and users with little income are entirely dependent upon cell phone companies for access.”

Despite these flaws, immigrant activists hope that a cell phone app such as this will improve the safety and security of undocumented immigrants across the United States by providing them with the essential means of contacting people who can help in the press of a button.

Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to become a nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at]

March 14, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

UFW Website Featuring Voices of La Causa

From the United Farm Workers:

Please help us spread the word about a very exciting new project which we launched today? As part of the UFW's 50th anniversary, we are trying to capture the stories of people who have helped w/la causa. To do this we just launched a interactive website, Stories need not involve momentous events. We are searching for tales of countless every-day acts of support and selflessness that allowed the UFW to succeed. This novel web site acknowledges people whose important contributions are too often ignored or forgotten.

Can you please help us spread the word? Check out the stories that have already been posted. The user friendly site allows you to like stories so they will appear on your Facebook page, or tweet them out on like on Google+.

Thanks as always for your help. If you have any questions email me at

Jocelyn Sherman


March 13, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)