Friday, March 23, 2012

Captured Childhood: A report on the detention of immigrant children

Earlier this week, the International Detention Coalition (IDC) released “Captured Childhood” in Geneva at the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council. Over the past two years, the IDC has heard first-hand the stories of children and parents from all over the world who have experienced immigration detention. In total 70 children were interviewed and the IDC also listened to the experiences of 16 parents of children who had been detained. Consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, this policy document conveys the stories of children who have been in immigration detention. Their experiences highlight the need for alternative approaches to managing the irregular migration of children. The report also introduces a new model to ensure the rights and liberty of refugee, asylum seeker and irregular migrant children affected by immigration detention.


March 23, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Latinos in North Carolina: A Growing Part of the State's Economic and Social Landscape

Latinos in North Carolina: A Growing Part of the State's Economic and Social Landscape By Hannah Gill

North Carolina has become a hub of Latino migration to the South. While many think this migration came suddenly, North Carolina has, in fact, been welcoming and integrating Mexican and other Latino migrants for generations. Over the last three decades, the Latino population in North Carolina grew from less than a half percent of the total population to 8.4 percent—more than 800,000 people. North Carolina, which now has more agricultural guest workers than any other state in the nation, has contributed to a quickly growing national population of 50 million Latinos, now the largest minority group in the country. But much is at stake for Latinos, native and newly arrived, as the state and region experience demographic transformation. The polarized nature of the current immigration debate has made the steady growth of Latinos in North Carolina more noticeable and more politically charged. The role of Latinos in North Carolina, however—as workers and residents—is an important and over-looked story of how North Carolina continues to grow and evolve in a changing economy and world. In this Perspectives, the author finds that North Carolina has became an important barometer of contemporary immigration debates for the nation and especially for the Southeast, which has become a new frontier for Latin American migration to the United States. While Latinos in North Carolinia, as they do elsewhere in the United States, have much to contribute to regional identities and histories, aggressive anti-immigrant policies and the climate of reception that they threaten hundreds of thousands of people across the state.


March 23, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Human Agenda for Santa Clara County

From Human Agenda of Santa Clara County, California:

Please join us at our Action Meetings at the Human Agenda Office, 2175 The Alameda,Suite 103, San Jose 95126:

Strategic Initiatives Action Meeting: Saturday, March 31, 4 PM, contact Ana Maria Candela at;

Vision Action Meeting: Saturday, April 7, 10 AM, contact Arianne Renée at;

Food & Water Action Meeting: Contact Elizabeth Sarmiento at .

A Strategic Weekend for Human Agenda

At the heart of Human Agenda’s vision for a healthy community and a better world are strategic initiatives to meet critical human needs. Nothing is more strategic for human beings than well-paying, sustainable jobs that allow people to have the security, the time, and the resources to meet their other critical needs. At the same time, food and water form the basis of our existence. Please join Human Agenda this weekend to support the San Jose Living Wage Campaign, World Water Day, and campaigns in support of low-income immigrant workers.

Collect Signatures for a Living Wage!

What: Collect Signatures for the San Jose Living Wage Initiative

When: Saturday, March 24, 9 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Meet at Human Agenda office, 2175 The Alameda, Suite 103, San Jose 95126

Who: Led by Board Members Ana Maria Candela, Cesar Juarez, & Richard Hobbs

Human Agenda just voted to contribute $500 to this important campaign to increase wages to $10 per hour in San Jose. We have supported the campaign from the beginning, and this is the last weekend to gather the signatures needed to put the initiative on the November ballot. Join us for a light breakfast and training to collect signatures. Rain or shine!

Canvass for World Water Day!

What: Walk and Poll for World Water Day
When: Sat., March 24, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Willow Glen Neighborhood

Who: Led by Board Members Elizabeth Sarmiento, Pat O’Connell, and Rodrigo Dioso

For World Water Day we will be doing a canvass using a poll to inform people about the state of water in the world, and to promote a Santa Clara Valley Water District program to replace lawns with drought resistant plants they will reimburse up to $2,000 in expenses. This is a tangible act people can take to reduce water use.

Brief Agenda
3:00 p.m. Meet at Elizabeth and Eric's home, 544 Snyder Ave., San José, CA 95125. Drink coffee or tea and have some coffee bread
3:15 p.m. Brief tour of gardens, native garden (front yard) editable garden (back yard)
3:30 p.m. Dos and don'ts about soliciting. Briefing of what we're doing and where we're walking - you'll get copies of the flyer and poll sheets with a clipboard.
5:00 p.m. Meet back at Elizabeth's place and share the results.

Support Low-Wage Immigrant Workers!

What: Panel Presentation and Action Steps to Support Low-Wage Immigrant Workers
When: Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: UFCW Local 5 Headquarters, Casa de Pueblo, 240 S. Market St., San Jose 95113

Who: Speakers include Aurelio Lopez, farmworker; Saul Gonzalez, the San Jose Living Wage Coalition; a representative from UniteHere! Local 19; Dr. Ann Lopez, the Center for Farmworker Families; and Richard Hobbs, Human Agenda. Sponsored by AACI, the Interfaith Council, and Human Agenda.

Explore the reality of low-wage immigrant workers and how a low-wage economy impacts us all! In Silicon Valley, immigrants fill the majority of our service, labor, and agricultural jobs. Hear personal testimonies from local immigrants working in low-wage industries and speakers on local and national policy issues, conditions of farmworkers, and environmental impacts. Find out how you can support the San Jose Minimum Wage Campaign and other local movements to improve wages and conditions for workers!


March 23, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

April 17 New York City Hall Day of Action

From the NY Immigration Coalition:



11:00AM – 3:00PM

Schedule of the Day

Press Conference 11:00AM - 12:00PM

City Legislative Forum 1:00PM - 2:30PM

Legislative Visits (on your own)

Anytime during the week of April 16th

If you have any questions, please contact Silvia Gonzales at


March 23, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Immigration Article of the Day: Francine J. Lipman, The “Illegal” Tax

Francine J. Lipman, The “Illegal” Tax (UHLC/IHELG Research Monograph 11-09, 2012), forthcoming in 11 Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal 93-132 (Fall - Winter 2011)]

This Article debunks the short, but maladroit statement that “illegals do NOT pay taxes.” It  describes the depth and breadth of undocumented immigrants as a resource for tax payments made to government coffers across America. The depth and breadth is evinced by describing the myriad of different federal, state, and local taxes undocumented immigrants are subject to and pay. Most notably, this Article verifies that undocumented immigrants not only pay the same taxes that U.S. citizens and documented residents pay, but in addition that they are subject to and pay what is described as “the undocumented immigrant tax.” The undocumented immigrant tax is effectively an additional tax burden, a surtax or tariff on undocumented immigrants and their families. As a result, not only do undocumented immigrants pay taxes, but they bear a greater tax burden than similarly situated U.S. citizens and documented residents.


March 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

2010 Census Shows Asians are Fastest-Growing Race Group

Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a 2010 Census brief, The Asian Population: 2010], that shows the Asian population grew faster than any other race group over the last decade. The population that identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, grew by 45.6 percent from 2000 to 2010, while those who identified as Asian alone grew by 43.3 percent. Both populations grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010. Out of the total U.S. population, 14.7 million people, or 4.8 percent, were Asian alone.

In addition, 2.6 million people, or another 0.9 percent, reported Asian in combination with one or more other races. Together, these two groups totaled 17.3 million people. Thus, 5.6 percent of all people in the United States identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.


March 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Keep the DREAM Alive in New York

From the NY Immigration Coalition:



Right now the most strategic opportunity for us to move DREAM forward is by having it included in the Governor's budget, which will be decided in the next week.

If you've made a call, please keep calling!

Urge  the Governor to include DREAM—and specifically an expanded Tuition Assistance Program—in his budget!

CALL TO DREAM! PLEASE take 2 minutes to call the Governor by FRIDAY!!

English: 1-866-572-7042

Spanish: 1-866-587-3023

Suggested script: "Hi I’m calling to urge Governor Cuomo to include DREAM, including the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) provision, in his budget so that DREAM becomes reality! My address and zip code is _________”

Please ALSO take a moment to call Assemblyman Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and ask them to support NYS DREAM legislation!

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: 518-455-3791

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos: 518-455-3171


Students are the future of New York!


March 22, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Brit Boxer KO'd by Visa Woes

It is big boxing news that MARTIN MURRAY has been forced to withdraw from his WBC world middleweight title challenge against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr because he cannot obtain a U.S. visa in time. The undefeated challengers was set to challenge Chavez in El Paso, Texas on June 16. Murray spent time in prison when he was younger and has turned his life around in recent years. According to news reports, Murray cannot get the paperwork approved in time for a US and Mexican press tour later this month.


March 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Romney, Etch a Sketch, and Immigration

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Given his campaign's Etch a Sketch view of politics, is there hope for Mitt Romney on immigration if he becomes the Republican nominee for President?  Romney has beaten the drum of increased immigration enforcement increasingly as teh Republican campaign has gone on.  If he returns to being a moderate on immigration, will Latinos forgive and believe him?


March 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


A new article in “Population and Development Review” by Douglas S. Massey and and Karen A. Pren argues that the post-1965 surge in Mexican, Central American, and to a lesser extent South American immigration was not a direct result of policy reforms enacted in the mid-1960s but rather the unintended consequences that unfolded afterward.

First, prior to 1965 a thriving Bracero Program was in place in which roughly 450,000 persons entered the U.S. from Mexico each year on temporary work visas. These workers returned to Mexico regularly rather than staying in the U.S., thereby creating a circular flow of legal Mexican migrants. The program had a lot of problems, however, so immigration reformers with a civil rights agenda successfully shut it down. But while the program ended in 1965, the business need for this type of labor did not. The result was that Mexican workers continued to enter the country, although now without documentation.

Also in 1965, quantitative limits on immigration from the Western Hemisphere were established. Thus illegal immigration rose after 1965 not because there was a surge in Mexican migration, but because these immigration reforms rebranded legal migrants as undocumented workers and capped the number who could try to enter the country legally. No longer legal guest workers but illegal immigrants, the number apprehended at the U.S.-Mexican border increased. This allowed a new narrative to develop: illegal immigration was a crisis and new policies were desperately needed to stem the flow of the “alien invasion.” The more this narrative was repeated by politicians, the more the populace supported increasingly stringent immigration and enforcement policies, setting off a chain reaction: increased apprehensions led to increased calls and better tools for enforcement; increased enforcement led to more apprehensions; and increased apprehensions solidified in the public’s mind that illegal immigration was a growing problem that needed drastic reform.

Moreover, increased enforcement did not really deter people from entering the U.S. from Mexico, but it certainly encouraged them to stay; the conversion from legal migrant to illegal immigrant was complete.

Second, the U.S. was involved in several Central American countries during the Cold War, which lead to further destabilization in the region and large scale migration north. While Nicaraguan émigrés were welcome as refugees (since the U.S. disagreed with the leftist government they were fleeing), others from Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras encountered the same restrictions for legal entry as Mexicans. After the 1990s, the threat of terrorism intensified border enforcement and brought about a sharp rise in deportations from the U.S. Deportations replaced border apprehensions as “proof” that a Latino threat loomed.

Third, Latin American legal immigration – led by Mexico -- was also on the rise after 1965, and particularly after 1986. Again, this was not a result of a conscious policy effort, but rather an unintended consequence of the various immigration reforms. Due to concerns about terrorism and a growing xenophobia, Congress began in the 1980s to strip civil, social, and economic rights away from legal immigrants. As it became increasingly problematic to be in the U.S. but not a citizen, the numbers seeking to naturalize increased. This happened just as millions of former undocumented migrants became eligible to naturalize after receiving permanent residence under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. Adding to the numbers was a separate policy that exempted family members (spouses, minor children and parents) of U.S. citizens from country quotas as part of a family reunification effort.

The authors end the article noting the massive demographic transformation that has resulted from these unintended consequences – a rise in the Hispanic population from 9.6 million to 50.5 million. They offer a counterfactual scenario, in which the Bracero Program was improved, not abolished, and the U.S. stayed out of Central America; the result might have been a smaller illegal population and a less divided country when the terrorists attacked. More might have continued to cross the border legally and for temporary stays, resulting in fewer permanent immigrants, less undocumented migration, and slower population growth. Amazingly – almost despite ourselves -- we may actually be headed that way as both illegal and legal entries have fallen while temporary guest worker entry has risen. The next step is for the U.S. to find a way to deal with the remaining legacy of failed policies – undocumented residents who number 11 million. Of those, 3 million entered as children. The authors argue that they should receive amnesty – such as that would have been granted in the Dream Act -- while the adults should be able to participate in an earned legalization program. As the Massey/Pren paper shows, a large number of permanent undocumented people is not a good situation for the country -- and the next policy solution should aim to solve not create more problems.


March 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Fifth Circuit Affirms Invalidation of Farmers Branch Immigration Enforcement Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Farmers Branch, Texas ordinance banning undocumented immigrants from renting in the city. The decision affirmed a lower court ruling that the power to control immigration rests only with the federal government — not states or cities. “This is a national problem, needing a national solution. And it impacts the nation’s relations with Mexico and other nations,” the decision said. The appeals court judges said that the ordinance was more than a housing regulation and was “designed to burden aliens, both documented and undocumented, in Farmers Branch. As such, the ordinance serves no legitimate city interest.”  For more, click here.


March 22, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The 2012 theme of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is "Racism and Conflict."  It highlighs the fact that racism and discrimination often are at the root of deadly conflict.

The theme was chosen to capture the often ignored yet mutually reinforcing relationship between racism and conflict. In many parts of the world, racism, prejudice and xenophobia create extreme tension and are used as powerful weapons to engender fear or hatred in times of conflict. Prejudice and xenophobia can even lead to genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes.

This year's theme aims to raise awareness of these issues and to recall the plight of the victims who suffered or continue to suffer as a result of racism-related conflicts.

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.


March 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stop Wasteful Spending on Incarceration of Immigrants

From Detention Watch Network:

Detention Watch Network Urges Congress to Follow President’s Lead and Reduce Wasteful Spending on the Incarceration of Immigrants
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Detention Watch Network is encouraged by the Obama Administration’s request for a reduction in immigration detention beds in the recent FY 2013 budget proposal. The President’s budget requests funding for 32,800 daily detention beds, which is a 1,200 bed reduction from FY 2012. In addition, the budget requests a $39 million increase in funding for Alternatives to Detention programs.
Also of note, the President’s request states that “the budget includes flexibility to transfer funding between jail detention and other forms of detention such as electronic monitoring and intensive supervision, commensurate with the level of risk a detainee presents.”
“This language seems to acknowledge that ICE’s intensive monitoring programs are themselves ‘forms of detention,’” said Andrea Black, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network. “Advocates have long argued that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should not be required to incarcerate any person whom it feels it can supervise through a less restrictive, more cost effective method.”
If Congress allows for flexibility in how ICE uses its detention money, the agency will have the authority to make determinations based on its programmatic needs rather than political dictates. ICE can exercise its discretion to move away from holding immigrants in prisons and jails while they determine their immigration status and prioritize the use of its Alternatives to Detention programs. Individuals who are subject to “mandatory detention” should be eligible for these less expensive and more humane programs if ICE deems it appropriate. Currently, more than 60% of people in detention are mandatorily detained without the right to a bond hearing.
Since 1996, the immigration detention system has grown rapidly, from 70,000 people detained annually to more than 360,000.  The U.S. now maintains a sprawling network of detention facilities, comprised of more than 250 federal and private facilities, state prisons and county jails, at an annual cost of $1.7 billion to taxpayers. The expansion of the detention system has been accompanied by increasing levels of abuse, dire living conditions, and over 120 immigrant deaths since 2003. DWN calls upon Congress to follow the White House’s lead and reduce funding for the incarceration of immigrants.
“It may take time to dismantle this mismanaged and inhumane detention infrastructure,” said Black, “but a reduction in funding for detention beds, even a minor one, is a good first step.”


March 21, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


Today, Breakthrough president and CEO Mallika Dutt joins the We Belong Together delegation calling for an end to human rights abuses against women, children and families caused by federal immigration enforcement and by Alabama’s HB56. The group of nationally recognized women’s rights advocates and thought leaders arrive in Alabama this afternoon. Alabama's HB56, enacted last June, is considered the nation's strictest immigration enforcement law.

“Today’s escalating ‘war on women’ has — rightly — sparked broad outrage and urgent action to protect women’s rights in the United States. But the ‘war on immigrants’ is not merely a coincidental crisis. Both are elements of a sweeping and profound crusade against women’s fundamental human rights here at home,” said Breakthrough president and CEO Mallika Dutt.

“Laws like Alabama’s HB56 and federal enforcement measures like 287g devastate women, families, economies, and — it’s becoming clear — the soul of our nation. How can we stand by while women are denied basic reproductive care — and forced to give birth in shackles? While women are attacked for using birth control — and afraid to call the police to report an abuser? We must continue to fight, side by side, for the fundamental human rights of all women in the United States.”

Dutt noted the experiences of immigrant women including Juana Villegas, who was detained after a routine traffic stop and forced to give birth in shackles, and Shirley Tan, who lives in fear of being separated from her female partner of 10 years and their two children because she is undocumented and unable to marry legally.

Breakthrough is a global human rights organization that uses the power of media, arts, pop culture, and community-based action to inspire people to take bold action for dignity, equality, and justice. Working out of centers in the U.S. and India, Breakthrough addresses critical global issues including violence against women, HIV and sexuality, immigration and racial justice.

We Belong Together is an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Asian Pacific American Womens Forum, and others, to bring attention to the ways in which unjust immigration laws affect women, children and families.


March 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States

The Migration Policy Institute's online journal, the Migration Information Source, today published its annual compilation of some of the most up-to-date and frequently sought-after facts and statistics on U.S. immigration, including current and historical population shares, illegal migration flows, demographic and workforce characteristics and geographic distribution. Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States is a unique and comprehensive resource that brings together in one place data from the Census Bureau (decennial census, American Community Survey and Current Population Survey), Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, MPI, Mexican government and other sources.

The fact sheet provides the most recent top facts and figures on the nation's immigrant, non-immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking populations as well as data on enforcement, naturalization and other topics. As such, it's a great resource for reporters and others needing quick access to relevant migration data.

The fact sheet reports that:

Between 2000 and 2010, the five states with the largest percent growth in the immigrant population were Alabama (92 percent), South Carolina (88 percent), Tennessee (82 percent), Arkansas (79 percent) and Kentucky (75 percent).

The nation's 40 million immigrants represented 13 percent of the total U.S. population in 2010 -- below the historical peak of just under 15 percent recorded in 1890 but well above the historical low of 5 percent recorded in 1970.

The emigration rate from Mexico dropped from 6.9 migrants per 1,000 residents of Mexico in 2008 to 3.3 per 1,000 in 2010.

More than 34 percent of the foreign-born population in the United States was uninsured in 2010, compared to 13 percent of the native-born population.

In 2010, nearly 17 million children under the age of 17 lived at home with at least one immigrant parent, accounting for 24 percent of the 70.6 million children in that age group in the United States.

The top five countries of birth for the approximately 1 million new green card holders in 2010 were Mexico (13 percent), China (7 percent), India (7 percent), the Philippines (6 percent) and the Dominican Republic (5 percent).


March 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Mapping the Foreign Born in the United States

The Migration Policy Institute Data Hub released its State Proportion of the US Immigrant Population and Metropolitan Areas map, as well as maps examining the state proportions of immigrants from the top four sending countries (each with at least 1 million immigrants) — Mexico, China, India, and the Philippines.

MPI also has mapped states with the largest and fastest-growing immigrant populations and states with the largest concentrations of those born in: Vietnam, El Salvador, Cuba, and Korea. These four countries also have at least 1 million immigrants now living in the United States.


March 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CARECEN Celebrates the Legacy of Monsignor Oscar Romero


I was honored to be honored last night in San Francisco with the Romero Vive award by the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), an organization that advocates on behanlf of Central American and all immigrants.  The award celebrates the life and work of Monsignor Óscar Romero, slain archbishop of San Salvador, whose defense of human rights and advocacy of social justice provides the inspiration for the CARECEN. My friend Jose Padilla, Executive Director of California Rural Legal Assistance, was also honored with a Romero Vive award for his work which embodies Monsignor Romero’s legacy.


March 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Au Pair Program and J-1 Visas

The San Francisco Chronicle featured this interview of an "Au Pair Matchmaker"

We have over 500 au pairs in Northern California, from Carmel to Sacramento. We have a 90 percent success rate with our matches. But it takes a lot of work, a lot of mediation.

Sometimes it's impossible. You'll have the social butterfly au pair matched with host parents who want a homebody. She wants to be out with friends, getting into the local community. And the family is like, "We want a big sister who's going to be a member of the family."
Or you get the family who says, "We only want you here when you're working, and then we'd just as soon you'd be out doing your own thing."
Once someone applies to the program, it takes about a month and a half to vet the au pair, verify their information and interview them. We need to see school records, criminal background check, health screening results. The overseas office has to verify child care experience, personal references.

They're interviewed in English by someone in our partner offices, and interviewed in English again when they go for their J-1 Visa, which allows the au pair to come over and work for one year with the possibility of extending one year.

The Department of State sets forth guidelines that the host family and au pair are required to follow. As a DoS-designated sponsor, AuPairCare is charged with enforcing those rules: The au pair has to be between 18 and 26; she can't work more than 45 hours per week; and she needs to complete six units or 60 hours at an accredited postsecondary educational institution.
Also, the host family must provide the au pair with a private bedroom, and the family has to live within an hour's drive of an AuPairCare team member. Read more...


March 21, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Are U.S. Citizenship Laws Falling Behind Reproductive Technology?

It appears that the U.S. immigration and nationality laws are under stress due to advances in reproductiuve technology.

USA Today reports on a U.S. citizenship issue that has arisen out of in vitro fertilization:  "A child adopted overseas by a U.S. citizen is eligible to become an American, and a baby born in the USA is American even if the parents are not. But a child born to a U.S. citizen overseas through the increasingly common practice of in vitro fertilization with embryos from donor eggs and sperm is not American, unless an American is one of the donors. And that can be hard to prove since clinics may not reveal such things about their donors due to confidentiality agreements, immigration law experts say."  The U.S. State Department says a child born outside the United States to an American cannot receive citizenship until a biological link with at least one parent is established. That link does not exist if an infertile woman uses donor eggs at a clinic to conceive.

In another story, CNN reports that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held that a Nigerian immigrant is responsible for paying child support for twins conceived through in vitro fertilization with his wife -- even though the procedure took place at least a year after the couple had separated. The court ruled earlier this month that because the husband had originally consented to the artificial insemination procedure, he is now responsible for the payments as the twins' parent. Okoli had argued that the agreement should be void because he had consented under duress. He said his ex-wife, Blessing, threatened to obstruct his U.S. citizenship application if he did not consent.  Though the couple separated in 2000, donor eggs became available in November of the following year. Blessing Okoli then acquired the husband's consent to begin the in vitro procedure at a fertility clinic in Boston. Their twins were born May 12, 2003.


March 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Call for Proposals - Collective Redress in the Cross-Border Context

Large-scale international legal injuries are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s globalized economy, whether they arise in the context of consumer, commercial, contract, tort or securities law, and countries are struggling to find appropriate means of providing collective redress, particularly in the cross-border context. The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL), along with the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), will be responding to this new and developing challenge by convening a two-day event on the theme “Collective Redress in the Cross-Border Context: Arbitration, Litigation, Settlement and Beyond.” The event includes two different elements – a workshop on 21-22 June 2012 comprised of invited speakers from all over the world as well as a works-in-progress conference on 20-21 June 2012 designed to allow practitioners and scholars who are interested in the area of collective redress to discuss their work and ideas in the company of other experts in the field. Both events are organized by the Henry G. Schermers Fellow for 2012, Professor S.I. Strong of the University of Missouri School of Law.

Persons interested in being considered as presenters for the works-in-progress conference should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to Professor S.I. Strong at on or before 1 May 2012. Decisions regarding accepted proposals will be made in early May, and those whose proposals are accepted for the works-in-progress conference will need to submit a draft paper by 4 June 2012 for discussion at the conference. All works-in-progress submissions should explore one or more of the various means of resolving collective injuries, including class and collective arbitration, mass arbitration and mass claims processes, class and collective litigation, and large-scale settlement and mediation, preferably in a cross-border context. Junior scholars in particular are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration.

Persons presenting at the works-in-progress conference will have to bear their own costs, since there is no funding available to assist with travel and other expenses. The works-in-progress conference will be held on 20 and 21 June 2012 at NIAS, Meijboomlaan 1, 2242 PR Wassenaar, The Netherlands. Wassenaar is approximately 20 minutes from The Hague by car. The workshop of invited speakers will be held on 21 and 22 June, also at NIAS.

Both the Schermers workshop and the works-in-progress conference are open to the public, although advance registration is required. More information on both events is available at the HiiL website or from Professor Strong at

Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2012

For more on the Henry G. Schermers Fellowship at HiiL/NIAS, see


March 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)