April 7, 2012
Meredith Linsky Wins AILA Human Rights Award
Congratulations to Meredith Linsky, who has been selected as the recipient of American Immigration Lawyers Asssociation's 2012 Arthur Helton Memorial Human Rights Award in Recognition of Outstanding Service in Advancing the Cause of Human Rights. For more than ten years, Meredith has worked in Harlingen, Texas heading ProBar, an ABA program that represents detainees. Meredith is a graduate of UC Davis King Hall School of Law.
For those attending the AILA Annual Conference, AILA will be presenting the award at a ceremony on Thursday, June 14th, 7:30pm-9:00pm in the historic Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Lofgren Critical of OIG Reports on S-Comm
The DHS Office of Inspector General released an audit of Secure Communities yesterday.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren issued this statement on Homeland Security Inspector General’s Secure Communities Reports:
San Jose, CA – [Yesterday] Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, released the following statement in response to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) reports on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Secure Communities program:
"I am frankly disappointed in these reports from the OIG. After a long wait for the report, it is surprising to find that the OIG simply failed to provide answers to key questions.
"The OIG found Secure Communities effective in finding and removing immigrants with criminal convictions. That wasn't the question. Does the program also ensnare victims and others with no criminal history? Is it susceptible to racial profiling? Does it ultimately undermine community policing efforts—leaving us all less safe?
"The OIG also fell short in its review of whether agency personnel intentionally misled government officials and the public with respect to the ability of States and localities not to participate in the program. Although the OIG does find that DHS and ICE botched up communicating with program participants by making numerous conflicting and misleading statements and ultimately failed to address the resulting confusion, we already knew that. The OIG failed to specifically address internal ICE email exchanges indicating that some of those misleading statements may have been made intentionally. The OIG doesn't say whether DHS or ICE provided misinformation through incompetence or dishonesty. That leaves me concerned about the thoroughness of this review.
"After reading these reports, it still appears that fundamental changes must be made, in consultation with State and local officials, to ensure that Secure Communities advances immigration enforcement priorities without undermining public safety. Unfortunately, this lengthy review provided no meaningful information that was not already available."
You can read the reports by clicking here and here.
Will Immigration Policy Determine the Outcome of Presidential Election 2012?
Professor Ediberto Roman on the Faculty Lounge raises the question whether immigration policy may determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential race. The argument that it just might is relatively straightforward.
Latinos turned out and voted overwhelmingly for President Obama in 2008. Polls show that Latinos favor President Obama by a wide margin over Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee. (This is no surprise given Romney and his competitors' myopic focus on immigration enforcement, "self-deportation, " etc.). However, many Latinos are disgruntled with the Obama administration's (1) emphasis on immigration enforcement and (2) failure to push immigration reform and the DREAM Act through Congress. Will Latinos turn out to vote for President Obama in November? That is the open question.
April 6, 2012
Video Letter to President Obama from Cambodian Deportees
From Studio Revolt:
Studio Revolt Sends Video Letter To President Obama From Cambodian Deportees
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — April 6, 2012
Studio Revolt’s first video on the issue of deportation was titled “My Asian Americana” and submitted to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ “What’s Your Story” Video challenge on November 1, 2011. In February, the Initiative selected “My Asian Americana” as one of 11 finalists from over 200 video submissions. The contest, then, opened the judging process to the public to watch and vote. The winners would be awarded the chance to bring their issue to a White House event called “Champions of Change.”
“My Asian Americana” won the highest public vote. The White House ignored this win. It is election year and the Obama administration has done a great job to avoid addressing real concerns. So much so that they would ignore a democratic process that voted the issue of deportations as a critical problem facing AAPI communities.
Studio Revolt’s response to this dismissal and act of silencing is as follows:
1.) Assisted by Cambodian Royalty and the greater Phnom Penh Arts Community, Studio Revolt organized the “Champions of Change, too” performance gala. The award ceremony held on April 2, 2012, honored the creators and collaborators of “My Asian Americana.” The event was a statement against the White House’s attempt to silence voices criticizing deportations.
2.) “Return to Sender” is a video letter sent from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Washington, D.C. The video is a collection of testimonies by Khmer Exiled Americans extradited to Cambodia under harsh US deportation policies. The video continues the studio’s interest in giving voice to abandoned and forgotten stories.
We urge the public and concerned citizens to write your congressional representatives, senators, and the president about these unjust laws and the need to reform our immigration and criminal justice systems. Write to the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and ICE about their destructive policies that are ripping American families apart. Ask the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders to address the issue of deportations in the White House. You can write them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, please write Ms. Valerie Jarrett (email@example.com), Senior Advisor to the President, and ask her to investigate the way her Office of Public Engagement silenced this issue despite the popular vote outcome during the White House AAPI's "What's Your Story" video contest.
PBS Segment on Border Brutality
From Southern Border Communities Coalition
Need to Know: Border Patrol Brutality - PBS Trailer
The U.S.-Mexico Border is a vibrant, diverse and unique region. More than six million people living on the U.S. side of the southern border call this region home. Millions more cross back and forth every day to shop, visit family and do business that fuels our economy.
In the midst of our communities, the largest law-enforcement agency in the country, the U.S. Border Patrol, operates with virtual impunity. Southern border communities have insisted that the U.S. Border Patrol cannot act above the law.
Since 2010 Border Patrol agents have killed at least seven members of border communities and several others have been seriously injured. The Border Patrol has taken no known action against any of the agents involved. There also has been no investigation made public that will help families understand why their loved ones were killed or injured.
On Friday, April 20th PBS’s Need to Know Program will air a half hour segment that will expose the excessive use of deadly force that has become routine for the Border Patrol.
You can help bring justice home for Southern Border communities by taking action in following ways:
* Sign and share our petition asking President Obama to move forward with an open and thorough investigation of all of the killings that have occurred since 2010.
* Spread the word about the April 20th airing of PBS’s Need to Know at 8:30 pm
* Organize a screening or a house party to watch the show (let us know if you will organize an event by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org).
* Visit and share our website www.bringjusticehome.us and our Facebook page.
* Follow us on Twitter and tweet to #bringjusticehome
With your help we can bring justice home!
Immigration Article of the Day: Detrimental Reliance on Detrimental Reliance: The Courts’ Conflicting Standards for the Retroactive Application of New Immigration Laws to Past Acts by Anjum Gupta
"Detrimental Reliance on Detrimental Reliance: The Courts’ Conflicting Standards for the Retroactive Application of New Immigration Laws to Past Acts", ANJUM GUPTA, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law-Newark.
ABSTRACT: A decade ago, the United States Supreme Court held that a newly enacted law that attaches adverse immigration consequences to certain criminal convictions could not be retroactively applied in the case of an immigrant who was convicted of the offense pursuant to a guilty plea before enactment of the new law. Since then, the courts of appeals that have addressed the same issue in the context of an immigrant who was convicted at trial, rather than after a guilty plea, have done so with remarkable divergence. Some courts have held that, unlike immigrants who pled guilty, immigrants who went to trial cannot show that they detrimentally relied on the old law; accordingly, the new law may be applied retroactively. Other courts have rejected the detrimental reliance requirement. In this article, I argue that detrimental reliance, while properly viewed as a factor in retroactivity analysis, must not be viewed as a requirement for challenging the retroactive application of a new law to past acts.
BLOGGER'S NOTE: This article is particularly timely given the Supreme Court's decision last week on the retroactive application of a provision of the 1996 immigration reforems in Vartelas v. Holder.
April 5, 2012
What the Heck? The Internal Revenue Code and Latino Realities: A Critical Perspective
Here is an amazing law review article in many respects! Leo Martinez (UC-Hastings) & Jennifer M. Martinez (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto), The Internal Revenue Code and Latino Realities: A Critical Perspective , 22 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 377 (2011).
Has there ever been a law review article co-authored by two Martinezes?
Jon Stewart on the dismantling of Mexican American Studies
Record-Setting Deportation of Parents of US Citizen Children
Contact: Jorge-Mario Cabrera,
U.S. on Track with Family Alienation Program
Report to Congress highlights fast and furious deportation of immigrant parents of US-born citizens
Los Angeles – In a seven-page report to Congress this week, the office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acknowledged it has deported nearly 47,000 parents of US-born citizens the first half of 2011 alone. The report describes an additional 40,000 parents of at least one US-born child that ICE sought to place in deportation, exclusion, or removal proceedings – only half of these were ultimately ordered deported. It is unclear how many of these immigrants were deported during the same record period, their cases are likely still pending. The report entitled “Deportation of Parents of U.S.-Born Citizens Fiscal Year 2011” was requested by Representatives Price (GA) and Roybal-Allard (CA) and members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional human and immigrant rights organization.
“The ICE report on deporting parents of U.S.-born citizens underscores what is morally wrong with our immigration system. Through a blind, careless, and erratic approach to immigration law enforcement, the U.S. is actively alienating families and leaving tens of thousands of U.S.-born children to fend for themselves.
Massive deportation of parents of American-born citizens is a cruel, irrational, and un-American approach to patching antiquated immigration laws that require urgent updates.
The Obama Administration has consistently expressed concern for immigrant families living and contributing in the U.S. This is becoming increasingly more difficult to believe considering the latest affront to family unity. How many more human rights abuse reports must be issued before our nation’s leaders heed the call to reach a bipartisan solution to the immigration crisis?
Under Secretary Napolitano’s helm, state-sponsored erosion of the immigrant family is swelling. Based on this week’s report to Congress, nearly one quarter of the total number of deportations a year – 450,000 – seems to be parents of American citizens. We must wonder how many of the parents of U.S.-born citizens were such a danger to society that necessitated their deportation in spite of the high financial and moral toll to generations to come.”
Feds to Sue Sheriff Joe for Civil Rights Violations?
CNN reports that "The Justice Department is preparing to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known internationally as `America's toughest sheriff,' saying talks between the two sides have fallen through." In December, the Department of Justice released a report finding a pattern and practice of discrimination against Latinos and immigrants by the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office under Arpaio's leadership.
Just a Matter of Time: Mitt Criticizes Barack on Immigration Reform in Wisconsin
After moving more and more toward being a "hawk" on immigration enforcement, presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney closed the deal in Wisconsin by attacking President Obama for failing to get Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. It appears that, in order to court the Latino vote, Romney will now talk less about immigration enforcement and "self-deportation" and that he immigration advisor Kris Kobach -- dubbed the "Deporter in Chief", architect of many of the state immigration enforcement laws, will take a low profile in the campaign.
From the Bookshelves: A Quiet Victory for Latino Rights: FDR and the Controversy Over "Whiteness" by Patrick D. Lukens
ABSTRACT: In 1936-37, the State Department stepped into a growing area of domestic policy making (administrative law) where it had little prior experience. It successfully used these unfamiliar methods to help early Mexican American Civil Rights activists achieve a quiet yet monumental victory in their efforts to be recognized as racially "white," to prevent American nativist activists from achieving judicial success in stopping Mexican immigration by applying the 1924 Asian Exclusion laws to Mexico, and to thwart a potential international incident that could have been seriously detrimental to FDR's Good Neighbor Policy.
This is a multi-faceted work that addresses issues in policy history, New Deal history, Chicano history, Latin American history and US Immigration history. This book looks at the efforts of nativist exclusionists to apply the 1924 Immigration Act to Mexican immigration. In 1935, Federal Judge Knight made such a ruling, and that decision also could have applied Plessy v. Ferguson to Mexican Americans and California's Alien Land Laws to all Latinos. Long before Knight rendered his judgment, Mexican American civil rights activists had been struggling to be recognized as a part of the white race. This decision had the potential to totally destroy those efforts. If the precedent were allowed to stand, if Mexican nationals were to be legally defined as non-white, then by default Mexican Americans would also fall under that racial classification. The legal definition of Mexican Americans as non-white would have disastrous consequences for the efforts of LULAC in its de-segregation efforts in south Texas. While LULAC had some success based on the fact that Mexicans Americans could be considered white, segregation of non-whites was still legal in 1935. Finally, being legally defined as non-white had the potential to change the perspective of white Americans for the worse. Many white Americans often had an attitude that "non-white" was synonymous with "non-citizen." To a group of Mexican Americans who sought to assert their rights as American citizens, this could be a major threat to their way of life. But the tri-lateral efforts of FDR's State Department, the Government of Mexico, and LULAC quashed the ruling. Rather than appeal the decision, the FDR Administration applied the principles of Administrative Law to race classification. It simply classified all Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans as "white." The administration implemented this policy at the same time that the federal judiciary "acquiesced" to the New Deal, which prevented further rulings similar to the Andrade petition. Because the administration ultimately managed to neutralize Knight's decision in 1937, immigration historians might view this case as merely a "blip" in the historical timeline, and possibly irrelevant in the larger scheme of immigration policy and history. However, for a brief time, the potential for a major policy change did exist because of Judge Knight's ruling.
Immigration Article of the Day: Louisiana: New Laborers, New Laws by Robin Raasch
Louisiana: New Laborers, New Laws by Robin Raasch
ABSTRACT: Migrant labor, particularly Hispanic migrants in Louisiana, positively impact the fiscal health of the Louisiana economy. Small and large Louisiana business owners cannot maximize their economic potential without an ample supply of migrant labor. Historically, and today, the Louisiana market demands the use of cheap labor. A Louisianan ideological tenent is one of hard work and fair compensation. But our business owners and migrant workers are not able to achieve independent economic goals because of a systematic breakdown in the supply of labor. The failure of the federal H2A and H2B worker programs is contributing to the economic loss of numerous local Louisiana businesses. These businesses are not able to access enough workers in part because the federal program’s cap on the number of workers allowed in the United States to work. The numeric cap does not provide enough workers, and the federal program suffers from weak program management and implementation. Louisiana’s passage of laws that effectively prevent migrant workers from accessing and contributing to the economy is also a contributing factor. Migrant workers are not legally protected, and crimes are committed against them without recourse. Migrant labor in Louisiana should be legislatively controlled and protected. The tax base would expand and bring in more revenue for the state if wages of migrant labor were legally legitimized by Louisiana. This paper focuses on the need for a legislatively created guest-worker permit program for Louisiana.
April 4, 2012
A federal district court has concluded that lawful permant residents cannot be denied a gun permit based on immigrtation status alone. I must admit that I am not sure what I think of this given that I worry about anyone with a gun license.
Prosecutorial Discretion and Immigrant Workers
On June 17, 2011, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released two memos intended to guide ICE agents, attorneys, and officers regarding the exercise of discretion in immigration enforcement decisions. According to the June memos, certain immigrant workers may qualify for prosecutorial discretion, including individuals cooperating with “federal, state or local law enforcement authorities” The June memos provide ICE personnel with guidance about when to exercise prosecutorial discretion and include criteria that specifically take into account immigrant workers, both victims of workplace abuse and those attempting to enforce their labor rights. such as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or individuals who are “plaintiffs in non-frivolous lawsuits regarding civil rights or liberties violations.” Additionally, individuals engaging in a “protected activity related to civil or other rights”4 and certain victims of serious workplace abuse may qualify as well.
Since November 17, 2011, ICE reports that it has conducted training for agency personnel on appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion, focusing on one or both of the June memos. In late November and early December of last year, ICE personnel began an initial review of incoming immigration cases and a review of docketed cases in two pilots, conducted in the Baltimore and Denver immigration courts.
Congress Members, ABA Presidents Support Bar License for Undocumented Immigrant
Eight members of Congress on Monday joined four former American Bar Association presidents in urging the state Supreme Court to grant a law license to an undocumented immigrant whose parents brought him to the United States from Mexico on a visitor's visa when he was 9 years old. Read more here.
Professor Michael Olivas identifies the leading source for materials for bar admissions as the National Conferenceof Bar Examiners (NCBE). It publishes an annual Comprehensive Guide that covers most of the waterfront about bar admissions.
Immigration to the U.S. From Africa
Black immigrants from Africa represented the fastest-growing segment of the foreign-born population in the United States between 2000 and 2010. Overall, the Black immigrant population has more than doubled over the past 20 years, with 1.7 million immigrants from the Caribbean and about 1.1 million from Africa living in the United States. A trio of reports released today by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) examines the demographics of Black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa, focusing in particular on the young children of those immigrant families. Today, about 813,000 children under the age of 10 have parents who are Black immigrants from the Caribbean or Africa – accounting for nearly 12 percent of all young Black children in the United States.
Amnesty International: Suspend Immigration Enforcement, Halt Human Rights Abuses
Amnesty International USA is calling on the Obama Administration to suspend and review all immigration enforcement programs to halt what it describes as "a pattern of human rights violations." In a new report, "In Hostile Terrain: Human Rights Violations in Immigration Enforcement in the U.S.Southwest," the organization highlights "systemic failures of federal, state and local authorities to enforce immigration laws" equitably and without racial and ethnic profiling. The Report is based on an intensive study of conditions in Arizona and Texas.
April 3, 2012
ICE Arrest 3k Immigrants in 6 Days, Largest Roundup Ever
ColorLines.com reports on how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this week announced 3,168 undocumented immigrants were detained over the course of six-days in a national operation the agency dubbed “Cross Check.” According to ICE, the six-day operation was the largest such effort in the agency’s history and was focused on "serious" criminal offenders.
Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States
Interested in information on annual naturalization trends, illegal immigration, the geographical distribution of immigrants in the United States, current and historical shares, and a host of other topics? Migration Policy Instititute'ss Jeanne Batalova and Alicia Lee have assembled the latest, most interesting data on immigrants and immigration into one easy-to-use resource.