Saturday, May 5, 2012

Solis Calls Rubio's Dream Act Proposal "Half-Cooked"


Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis called Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) alternative to the DREAM Act "half-cooked" — noting that it provides no pathway to citizenship.

President Obama made another push Thursday at a Cinco de Mayo event at the White House, calling on Congress to take up the DREAM Act — a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

"I don't hear any [Republican] members except for Sen. Rubio coming forward — talking about a proposal that's half cooked," Solis said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

Rubio's proposal, not yet a bill, allows the children of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and earn their residency, but it does not provide a pathway to citizenship. Rubio, himself a Cuban-American, is nevertheless the highest profile Republican supporter on immigration reform and a key figure in helping to improve the GOP's image among Hispanics.

"His notion of the DREAM Act would only provide you with residency and the ability to stay, go to school but not lead to a path to citizenship," Solis said.

Solis blamed the Republicans for the gridlock over Obama's preferred version of the DREAM Act, saying that "I think the public knows where the real stalemate is." Read more...


May 5, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

USCIS Now on Facebook


Did you know USCIS is now on Facebook?  Check out our page for the latest news, events, informational videos, and learn more about our nation’s immigration history on our timeline. Visit us today for that and more at


May 5, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Inquisitorial Advantage in Removal Proceedings by Won Kidane

"The Inquisitorial Advantage in Removal Proceedings" Akron Law Review, Vol. 45, by WON KIDANE, Seattle University School of Law

ABSTRACT: This article takes a radically different and unique approach to improving due process in removal/deportation proceedings. It argues that the existing adversarial system of adjudication, which is incontrovertibly inefficient, expensive and unfair, is a product of cultural imaginary. It demonstrates that if the current adversarial model is measured by contemporary utilitarian standards, it is utterly counterproductive. The article then recommends the adoption of the inquisitorial model of the civilian system by converting the majority of the 951 government lawyers, who now serve as the non-citizens’ adversaries, into administrative law judges. Through a comparative analysis of the common law and civil law systems, the article demonstrates that the civilian or inquisitorial model saves a significant amount of resources while improving accuracy, fairness and general acceptability of the system. It finally argues that there is no principled reason why the inquisitorial model cannot be adopted.



May 5, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Immigration Article of the Day: The Normative & Historical Cases for Proportional Deportation by Angela M. Banks


"The Normative & Historical Cases for Proportional Deportation" Emory Law Journal, Forthcoming  ANGELA M. BANKS, William & Mary Law School Email: Is citizenship status a legitimate basis for allocating rights in the United States? In immigration law the right to remain is significantly tied to citizenship status. Citizens have an absolutely secure right to remain in the United States regardless of their actions. Noncitizens’ right to remain is less secure because they can be deported if convicted of specific criminal offenses. This Article contends that citizenship is not a legitimate basis for allocating the right to remain. This Article offers a normative and historical argument for a right to remain for noncitizens. This right should be granted to members of the society — those with significant connections, commitment, and obligations to the State. Citizenship status is one proxy for identifying members, but it can be both under- and over-inclusive. Numerous green-card holders are committed to, have strong connections to, and undertake obligations to the United States. Deporting these individuals for crimes like perjury, receipt of stolen property, or failure to appear in court can be excessively harsh. It can mean depriving “a man and his family of all that makes life worth while [sic].” The right to remain for noncitizens is based on two principles — connection and proportionality. The jus nexi principle provides a basis for identifying members of the polity. Members have a heightened liberty interest in remaining in the United States. Deportation for minor criminal activity is an illegitimate deprivation of the liberty interest to remain in the United States because it is disproportionate. The first comprehensive crime-based deportation regime in the United States was rooted in both the jus nexi principle and proportionality. Reliance on these foundational norms has diminished and must be restored to achieve a more just deportation regime. In order to realize this goal the right to remain cannot depend on citizenship status.


May 4, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration nightmare: Army soldier's wife detained after Arizona traffic stop

How often will we hear stories like this if the U.S. Supreme Court allows the mandatory police verification of immigration status of "suspicious" persons under Arizona's S.B. 1070 to go into effect?


May 4, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Conservatives in the War on Terror in the News: Ninth Circuit Rules for John Yoo in Jose Padilla v. John Yoo

Earlier this week, in the appeal of Jose Padilla v. John Yoo, the Ninth Circuit (by Judge Raymond Fisher, joined by Judge N. Randy Smith and District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer (N.D. Ill.), held that John Yoo, former Assistant Attorney General in President Bush's Justice Department had qualified immunity for his decisions taken in the name of national security in a suit for damages brought by Jose Padilla and his mother.

The case included an interesting cast of characters, including John Yoo and Jose Padilla. In addition, Judge Raymond Fisher, who wrote the opinion for the court, served as Associate Attorney General in the Clinton administration. Miguel A. Estrada, a controversial (and unsuccessful nominee for the D.C. Circuit in the Bush years), successfully argued on behalf of John Yoo).

For Lyle Denniston's read on the decision on SCOTUSblog, click here. The Constitutional Law Professor blog also has an informative post.


May 4, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NILC Positions

The National Immigration Law Center is hiring! They are looking for two people with a proven commitment to immigrants’ rights to join the Los Angeles or Washington, DC, offices. Job descriptions and information about the Immigration Policy Attorney/Analyst and the Public Benefits Attorney/Analyst positions are now available. If you have questions, please email


May 4, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Justice Demanded for San Diego Resident Killed by Border Patrol

Groups Demand AG Holder Investigate Brutal Slaying of San Diego Resident by Border Patrol

National Day of Action Planned in 8 Cities

Community Leaders, Clergy and National Organizations Call for “Justice For Anastasio!” from the Obama Administration

Press conferences, petition deliveries and other actions are planned around the country aimed at bringing the issue of border brutality to national attention. The cities include Miami, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles among others. Since 2010, Border Patrol agents have killed at least eight other residents of border communities and have left many others seriously wounded., the Southern Border Communities Coalition and communities across the United States are asking the President to direct the Department of Justice to conduct an open and thorough investigation of the US Border Patrol.

WHAT: National Day of Action demanding justice from the Obama Administration in the case of San Diego resident, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas , who was beaten and tased to death by the U.S. Border Patrol. The case has sent sent shockwaves among Latinos and others as accountability in the 2010 case remains elusive.

WHO: Community Leaders, clergy and national organizations WHEN: Thursday, May 3

WHERE: Actions will take place across the nation, including Miami, Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, as well as other cities in Texas and New Mexico.

For details about each action contact Rafael Noboa at 202-455-4673


May 3, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Aticle of the Day: "A Kenyan Birth? Still Natural Born" by SALAR GHAHRAMANI

"A Kenyan Birth? Still Natural Born" by SALAR GHAHRAMANI, Penn State University

ABSTRACT:  This paper is a “so what” rebuttal to those who hold the birther view and argues that even if Barack Obama were born outside of the United States, he is still a natural born citizen because, under the laws of the United States, he was entitled to birthright citizenship through his mother, no matter where he was born. The essence of the article lies on simple logic: that there are two types of American citizens — natural-born and naturalized. Those entitled to birthright citizenship do not have to be naturalized, no matter where they are born; so it follows that they are natural-born.


May 3, 2012 in Books, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Immigration Article of the Day: Legal Violence: Immigration Law and the Lives of Central American Immigrants by Cecilia Menjívar and Leisy J. Abrego

Legal Violence: Immigration Law and the Lives of Central American Immigrants by Cecilia Menjívar (ASU) and Leisy J. Abrego (UCLA)

ABSTRACT:  This article analyzes how Central American immigrants in tenuous legal statuses experience current immigration laws. Based on ethnographic observations and over 200 interviews conducted between 1998 and 2010 with immigrants in Los Angeles and Phoenix and individuals in sending communities, this study reveals how the convergence and implementation of immigration and criminal law constitute forms of violence. Drawing on theories of structural and symbolic violence, the authors use the analytic category “legal violence” to capture the normalized but cumulatively injurious effects of the law. The analysis focuses on three central and interrelated areas of immigrants’ lives—work, family, and school—to expose how the criminalization of immigrants at the federal, state, and local levels is not only exclusionary but also generates violent effects for individual immigrants and their families, affecting everyday lives and long-term incorporation processes.

Download Abrego menijivar article


May 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Webinars on Consular Processing, Good Moral Character, & Abandonment

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

The ILRC has three webinars left in our Spring 2012 training schedule. If you're interested in these topics or need additional MCLE units, you can register now:
Consular Processing and Travel with a U Visa:
May 22 at 10:00 am PDT
GMC in Naturalization Cases: May 30 at 12:00 pm PDT
Abandonment of Residence: June 5 at 12:00 pm PDT
If you can't attend any of these webinars or missed a previous session, order the recording and view it at your convenience. Order recorded webinars here.

May 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Challenge to use of Border Patrol as "Interpreters"

From the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project:

Breaking News: NWIRP Challenges Local Law Enforcement Use of U.S. Border Patrol Agents as "Interpreters" 

Yesterday, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. The complaint challenges the illegal practice of local law enforcement agencies calling in U.S. Border Patrol agents as "interpreters" for routine matters.  The complaint is filed on behalf of six brave individuals.

The Problem: Law enforcement agencies who attempt to use Border Patrol for alleged "'interpretation assistance" during routine matters are targeting our community members for deportation. In doing so, they are also violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which ensures that all persons have access to government services, regardless of limited English skills.  Getting put into deportation proceedings by your interpreter is not equal access.

Local Border Patrol officials have made various public statements denying that they actively seek to deport community members while acting as interpreters. Just weeks ago, a Border Patrol spokesperson told a public radio reporter: "We're strictly there for translation in that type of request." 

A disturbing video released yesterday actively shows that agents do in fact question and detain individuals who were witnesses and bystanders. The video also captures Border Patrol agents using racial slurs (a longer excerpt includes more inflammatory language).

Just last week in another effort, NWIRP joined ACLU of Washington in filing a lawsuit challenging unconstitutional stops and interrogations by Border Patrol Agents on the Olympic Peninsula. NWIRP and its non-profit partners have raised these concerns with federal officials, but still the racial profiling of the Border Patrol continues.

Through this official complaint we ask the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to take steps to stop this illegal practice. 


May 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Security and U.S. Immigration Policy

From UC San Diego:

CCIS Research Seminar Series
Security and United States Immigration Policy
Tuesday, May 8th at 12:30 pm
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor

What is the relationship between security and immigration to the U.S? How have security objectives factored into U.S. immigration policy? These questions are significant for the U.S. because the volume of international migration has been increasing in recent decades and many analysts argue that without sound policy planning immigration can for America serve as a source of conflict with foreign states, tax the ability of its domestic systems to assimilate diverse peoples without violence, and expose its citizens and immigrants to crime, contagious disease, and terrorism. This talk will address these questions and present the strategic logic for U.S. immigration policy by identifying three general categories of security objectives that American officials have attempted to reach with immigration from the colonial era to the present-day: (1) foreign relations, (2) material and military interests, and (3) domestic security (prevent crime, espionage, and terrorism; epidemics; and ethnic violence). The discussions of the categories will draw from International Relations (IR) and Security Studies theories, primary sources, and works by demographers and historians to specify the relationships amongst the security areas and immigration, identify policy instruments used by leaders to influence immigration for security, and present historical cases of U.S. immigration policies designed for security purposes. The talk will conclude with discussing its implications for immigration research and contemporary policy.

Speaker: Robbie Totten is a doctoral candidate in the UCLA Department of Political Science and the pre-doctoral fellow here at the CCIS. He received his BA in Political Science from Duke University and he has published articles in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History and Diplomatic History. Totten’s dissertation is titled, “Security and United States Immigration Policy,” and his research interests include, demography and security, foreign relations and state migration policies, nontraditional security threats, geopolitics and international migration, refugee crises, and U.S. immigration policy history.


May 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Run for the Border Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings by Steven W. Bender


Run for the Border Vice and Virtue in U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings by Steven W. Bender

Mexico and the United States exist in a symbiotic relationship: Mexico frequently provides the United States with cheap labor, illegal goods, and, for criminal offenders, a refuge from the law. In turn, the U.S. offers Mexican laborers the American dream: the possibility of a better livelihood through hard work. To supply each other’s demands, Americans and Mexicans have to cross their shared border from both sides. Despite this relationship, U.S. immigration reform debates tend to be security-focused and center on the idea of menacing Mexicans heading north to steal abundant American resources. Further, Congress tends to approach reform unilaterally, without engaging with Mexico or other feeder countries, and, disturbingly, without acknowledging problematic southern crossings that Americans routinely make into Mexico. In Run for the Border, Steven W. Bender offers a framework for a more comprehensive border policy through a historical analysis of border crossings, both Mexico to U.S. and U.S. to Mexico. In contrast to recent reform proposals, this book urges reform as the product of negotiation and implementation by cross-border accord; reform that honors the shared economic and cultural legacy of the U.S. and Mexico. Covering everything from the history of Anglo crossings into Mexico to escape law authorities, to vice tourism and retirement in Mexico, to today’s focus on Mexican border-crossing immigrants and drug traffickers, Bender takes lessons from the past 150 years to argue for more explicit and compassionate cross-border cooperation. Steeped in several disciplines, Run for the Border is a blend of historical, cultural, and legal perspectives, as well as those from literature and cinema, that reflect Bender’s cultural background and legal expertise.


May 2, 2012 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Is Arizona a "Police State"?

Yes, according to Professor Geoffrey Hoffman (Houston).


May 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Report on Integration Policies in the UK

Building a British Model of Integration in an Era of Immigration: Policy Lessons for Government By Shamit Saggar and Will Somerville

Despite experiencing large-scale immigration flows and settlement over the past half century, the United Kingdom has not developed a formal integration program. Few public policies have specifically sought to advance immigrant integration, and the political debates surrounding immigrant integration have often been fraught and destabilizing, reflecting deep-seated ambivalence in British society about immigrants and immigration. The authors offer a menu of policy options and actions the government should consider to achieve a well-thought-out approach.

Note how the British approach to immigrant integration resembles that of the United States.


May 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Immigration Policy Center Fellowship Announcement

The Immigration Policy Center, (IPC) a division of the American Immigration Council is seeking applications for a two-year fellowship that will focus on the intersection of immigration, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic policy. This fellowship will initially focus on two key challenges that face America in its development of a 21st century immigration policy: 1) The importance of devising policies that permit American companies to competitively recruit and retain the best and brightest from around the world, and 2) The growing importance of immigrant entrepreneurship in reviving economies and rebuilding communities throughout America.

In keeping with the IPC philosophy of active engagement in the immigration policy debate, the fellow would be expected to conduct original research, as well as build a network of academics and business people who can provide actual examples of immigrant innovation, growth, and entrepreneurship that make the contributions of immigrants real to the public. In addition to independent research products, the fellow will produce fact sheets, blog posts, and other materials that provide our target audiences with the tools they need to engage in a well-informed and rational discussion of immigration policy.

Applicants must have attained an undergraduate degree with a demonstrated background in economics, business, community development or other relevant field. An advanced degree in law, public policy, economics or business with specialization in immigration or related field is preferred. Strong writing skills and quantitative or qualitative data analysis experience are required. The incumbent must have at least three years’ experience that demonstrates competence in addressing both business and policy issues and indicates the likelihood of initiating and sustaining successful research. Experience in employment based immigration or employment and/or economic immigration issues are preferred. Exposure to non-profit setting, as well as experience in business situations is a plus.

Interested parties are required to submit their resume and letter(s) of interest to The letter must include a summary of how the interested party’s background, knowledge, skill and ability relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position, as well as their salary requirement.


May 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Germany and SB1070
Sorry that I didn't continue my tales from Germany. Each day ran 15 hours long and exhaustion set in. Last week we had the SB1070 oral argument. But as things settle, I think it may worth to continue my entries about Germany. SB1070 ironically provides an interesting platform for my next blog. One of the core questions in the case is what powers the states have vis a vis the federal government. This question is quite foreign to many countries, including it seems Germany. It was explained to me that following the war, the allies wanted to make sure that power in Germany would not be concentrated in one party or one individual. This evolved into a governmental structure where the states have much say and control over their affairs and where the central administration has little power to mandate action even between ministries.
I observed this during my meeting with representatives from different German governmental agencies that handle immigration issues. When we met with the immigration service at the interior ministry we learned that although the agency helps to writes proposed immigration legislation for vote by the Parliament, it is the state governments that implement the laws--including immigration laws. Therefore it is possible that one state may interpret the immigration law differently from another. Such discrepancy is discouraged, but there appears not to be systems to force consistency. Even the power of the purse may not be enough. For example, the immigration service indicated that they don't partake in community education programs. The Chancellery later told us that the immigration service received funding to provide community education programs, but that it could redirect the funds if it wanted without much say from the Chancellery. This confounded us since we were all used to the U.S. Congress using federal funds to force states to carry out certain actions.
Germany is a small and new player in the immigration world, with roughly 650,000 immigrants per year. Moreover, their immigration system is rather new. So this lose structure may not be problematic. But I immediately wondered if it may become an issue in the future. Yet maybe central to that assumption was my belief that a centralized immigration system is better because that's comfortable for me-the American lawyer. Also, it may be that given their years of practice with decentralized systems and strong desire to avoid a repeat of the past, Germany will find a happy medium we cannot phantom. Regardless, my visit to Germany brought a new dimension to my observation of the SB1070 arguments--leading me ask not whether a decentralized immigration system can work, but rather whether a decentralized immigration system is the appropriate approach given our history and values. EQ

May 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Medals of Freedom to Dolores Huerta and Gordon Hirabayashi

Civil rights activist and United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta will receive the nation's highest civilian honor when she is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this spring, the White House announced Thursday.

Huerta co-founded the UFW with the late César Chávez in 1962. She has been a community activist and political organizer, championing the rights of migrant workers, latinos, women, and the gay and lesbian community.

Huerta was instrumental in the passage of California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 and disability insurance for that state's farmworkers. In 2002, Huerta founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation with a mission of developing community organizers and national leaders, the White House said.

The late Gordon Hirabayashi, who as a University of Washington student resisted the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, will also be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Hirabayashi turned himself into the FBI, was convicted in U.S. District Court of defying the exclusion order, took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost.  Forty-four years later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his conviction.

“The U.S. government admitted it made a mistake,” Hirabayashi said in 2000.  “A country that can do this is a strong country.  I have more faith and allegiance to the Constitution than I ever had before.”

Hirabayashi died this past January.

Huerta and Hirabayashi will receive the Medal of Freedom with 12 others, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Bob Dylan, former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, Pulitizer-Prize winning author Toni Morrison, and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Read more here and here.


May 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Supremes Grant Cert in Padilla Retroactivity Case

The Supreme Court granted cert in another immigration case yesterday. In Chaidez v. United States, the Court will consider whether Padilla v. Kentucky, in which the Court held that criminal defendants receive ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment when their attorneys fail to advise them that pleading guilty to an offense will subject them to deportation, applies to individuals whose convictions became final before its announcement. Goldstein & Russell, P.C. serves as counsel to the petitioner in this case. For more details, see this crImmigration post.


May 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)