Saturday, May 12, 2012
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
The Consular Processing and Travel with a U Visa webinar will go step-by-step through the consular processing practice of helping U nonimmigrants travel into the United States with a U visa. This information is helpful for those assisting U principals and derivatives who may be outside the United States at the time of their U nonimmigrant approval, as well as for U nonimmigrants who travel to their home countries and now wish to return.
Date: May 22, 2012
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am PDT
MCLE: 1.5 CA
Deadline: Register by May 18
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) and the ABA Commission on Immigration invite you to join a free webinar, "Reaching Victims of Notario Fraud," on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 2:30 pm Eastern / 1:30 pm Central / 12:30 pm Mountain / 11:30 am Pacific. This webinar will examine tools for identifying victims of fraudulent immigration consultants, options for helping victims, and ways to raise awareness about notario fraud in your community. Panelists include Nora Privitera of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Jason Abrams, from Abrams & Abrams, LLP, and Nicholas Mastrocinque, from the Federal Trade Commission.
To register for this free webinar, click here. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information on joining the webinar.
If you have questions, please email us at email@example.com.
The Immigration Advocates Network is a collaborative project of the ABA Commission on Immigration, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, ASISTA, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Pro Bono Net, and The Advocates for Human Rights. For more information about IAN, visit www.immigrationadvocates.org.
ASIAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND
invites you to the
2012 ANNUAL SUMMER COCKTAIL PARTY
Monday, June 18, 2012, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Crimson, 915 Broadway (@21st Street), NYC
Raffle - Live DJ - Hors D'oeuvres - Cash Bar
RSVP by June 13, 2012
$50 contribution / $40 member / $55 at the door
For more information, call 212.966.5932 x212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, May 11, 2012
Yesterday, we learned that Tea Party darling Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn) had renounced her Swiss citizenship, apparently in response to the controversy that followed the news that she was a dual Swiss/U.S. citizen. Now, Bloomberg reports that Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, renounced his U.S. citizenship before an initial public offering that values the social network at billions of dollars. It apparently would benefit his tax bill. According to the Bloomberg story, "Saverin, 30, joins a growing number of people giving up U.S. citizenship, a move that can trim their tax liabilities in that country. The Brazilian-born resident of Singapore is one of several people who helped Mark Zuckerberg start Facebook in a Harvard University dorm and stand to reap billions of dollars after the world’s largest social network holds its IPO."
The U.S. Census Bureau reported yesteday that foreign-born households are, on average, larger than native households, have more children under age 18, and are more likely to be multigenerational. The average size of foreign-born households (3.4 people) was larger than that of native-born households (2.5 people). About 62 percent of foreign-born family households included children under 18, compared with 47 percent of native-born households. Multigenerational households, with three or more generations living together, were more common among foreign-born (10 percent) than native-born (5 percent) family households. Among the regions of birth, family households with a householder born in Latin America and the Caribbean were the most likely to include children under 18 (70 percent), followed by Africa (67 percent), Oceania (60 percent) and Asia (56 percent). Families with a householder born in Northern America or Europe (both less than 40 percent) were less likely to include children under 18 than native-born households. (Oceania consists of Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia; Northern America consists of Canada, Bermuda, Greenland, and St. Pierre and Miquelon.) A family household consists of a householder and one or more people living together who are related to the householder by birth, marriage or adoption. About 77 percent of foreign-born households were family households, compared with 65 percent of native-born households. These data come from The Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2010, a new report about the characteristics of the nation's foreign-born population from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The report also examines differences among foreign-born region-of- birth groups on a wide range of topics that include age, sex, marital status, fertility, period of entry into the United States, naturalization and citizenship status, language, education, labor force participation, occupation, health insurance coverage, income and poverty.
It is NBA playoff time again. And so-called "anchor babies" continue to take it on the chin. So, our inaugural "Anchor Baby of the Day" is 13-time NBA All Star, John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics. Born in Ohio, Havlichek is the son of Czechoslovakian immigrants.
President Obama’s bold endorsement of same-sex marriage sends a strong immigration-reform message to Congress: it's time to allow U.S. citizens lawfully married to same-sex partners the opportunity to apply for lawful immigrant status. Under current law, prospective immigrants who want to immigrate through marriage can only do so if they are parties to a heterosexual relationship.
The history of the treatment of gays and lesbians under U.S. immigration laws is sordid. Beginning in 1917 with language directed at persons who were of "psychopathic inferiority" or "afflicted with psychopathic personality," Congress targeted gays and lesbians for immigration exclusion. Legislators reaffirmed their malevolence in 1965 with language excluding those with "sexual deviation." The constitutionality of the exclusion of homosexuals was upheld in Boutilier v. INS (1967), a deportation case. Even though Clive Boutilier had become a lawful immigrant, the Supreme Court determined that the legislative history of the exclusion laws indicated "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that Congress intended to exclude immigrants who were homosexuals via the "psychopathic personality" provision. As a result, the Court order Mr. Boutilier deported, because prior to his entry in the United States when he was twenty-one years old, he had engaged in homosexual activity. Since he was excludable at the time of his immigration, he could now be deported. After lengthy administrative battles within the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Public Health Service as well as judicial challenges, the exclusion ground finally was removed in 1990.
However, immigrant visas (green cards) for spouses U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents continue to be limited to spouses of the opposite sex. In a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision back in 1981 (Adams v. Howerton), the court ruled that the term "spouse" as used in the Immigration and Nationality Act was limited to marriages involving heterosexual relations. The court found that Congress had a rational basis for that limitation because "homosexual marriages never produce offspring, because they are not recognized in most, if in any, states, or because they violate traditional and often prevailing social mores." Even though times have changed since 1981, the Adams v. Howerton interpretation of the immigration laws prevails. As a result, the threat to deport the foreign national partner in such marriages continues. For example, Anthony Makk, an Australian citizen married to U.S. citizen Bradford Wells, received a deportation reprieve after being on the verge of deportation. Makk, who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse, was ordered deported last summer, but has been permitted to remain another two years. Wells previously told the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I'm married just like any other married person in this country.... At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It's infuriating. It's upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married.”
Even before the President’s announcement this week, his administration stated last summer that "prosecutorial discretion" could be exercised to halt the deportation of prospective immigrants in same-sex relations (along with DREAM Act students and others). However, the results have been inconsistent, and some ICE officers have been outspoken in their criticism of these internal orders. As a result, U.S. citizens and lawful residents with same-sex partners who have overstayed nonimmigrant visas or who are otherwise undocumented immigrants live in constant fear that their partner may be deported. True, the Obama folks have spoken out against the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a relevant statement. But we need specific legislation to resolve the issue once and for all.
The way out of this inequity is the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). UAFA would allow U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration to the United States. The bill (and its predecessor) has been introduced into every subsequent Congress since the year 2000. Every year support has increased, and in the last Congress, more co-sponsors than ever before were garnered. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), there was a record-breaking 135 co-sponsors in the House. And today there are more than 20 co-sponsors in the Senate. UAFA would amend the immigration laws by simply adding the term "permanent partner" in sections where "spouse" appears, thus ensuring that a non-citizen permanent partner may receive the same immigration benefits that a non-citizen spouse now receives.
The President’s announcement was important, although he couched his remarks in terms of states’ rights to decide on the issue. But at the federal level, the President can push for UAFA. Importantly, a majority of Americans (53%) now believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. These are signs that lasting social change is afoot. In the immigration arena, the President needs to take the lead, and we now need to push all of our Congressional leaders to endorse reform sooner rather than later. There is no turning back on the eventuality that UAFA will be enacted.
ORAM – Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration is a leading international NGO advocating on behalf of refugees fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Based in San Francisco, USA, ORAM conducts research, education, direct client advocacy, representation and assisted resettlement. Among its activities, ORAM runs a robust summer program featuring law and other university students from across the US and around the world conducting cutting-edge research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees and asylum seekers. http://www.oraminternational.org/en/publications.
Works currently underway include research on protection gaps facing LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa, Uganda and Mexico, legally-directed COI packets for key countries of origin, an international attitudinal survey and a legal treatise on LGBTI refugee protection. ORAM seeks an exceptionally well-qualified legal scholar with wonderful research, writing and pedagogic skills and an agreeable personality to help run our San Francisco summer internship program and assist with our publications work. All work will take place at ORAM Headquarters in San Francisco, CA. Period of employment: May 21 (or soon thereafter) through August 17, 2012. Compensation commensurate with experience and skill. Please send (1) a short cover e-mail, (2) CV including publications list and (3) brief original legal writing sample to email@example.com. All applications will be handled in strict confidence.
The American Bar Association Model Rule 6.1 states that "a lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year." Some companies have created structured pro bono programs to make it easier for lawyers to give back. And, undoubtedly, some lawyers want to and are able to do pro bono without built-in requirements or incentives.
This week, the ABA Journal asks: Should all lawyers be required to do pro bono or monetarily contribute to legal services offices? Is it more just to let each lawyer make that call for himself or herself, or would such a requirement do more good than harm? Do you have an alternative idea that would do a better job of helping to meet the legal needs of the poor? Click here to offer your response.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
From the Bookshelves: Madhavi Sunder, From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Gobal Justice
Madhavi Sunder, From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Gobal Justice (Yale University Press 2012).
ABSTRACT:Most scholarship on intellectual property considers this law from the standpoint of law and economics. Under this conventional wisdom, intellectual property is simply a tool for promoting innovative products, from iPods to R2D2. In this highly original book Madhavi Sunder calls for a richer understanding of intellectual property law’s effects on social and cultural life. Intellectual property does more than incentivize the production of more goods. This law fundamentally affects the ability of citizens to live a good life. Intellectual property law governs the abilities of human beings to make and share culture, and to profit from this enterprise in a global Knowledge economy. This book turns to social and cultural theory to more fully explore the deep connections between cultural production and human freedom. I have endorsements on the back of the book from luminaries such as Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago Law), James Boyle (Duke Law), Jack Balkin (Yale Law) and Joseph Singer (Harvard Law).
“This is a non-story. I automatically became a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland in 1978 when I married my husband, Marcus. Marcus is a dual American and Swiss citizen because he is the son of Swiss immigrants. As a family, we just recently updated our documents.
“I am proud of my husband, Marcus, the love of my life, and his Swiss heritage. Even though I have been a dual citizen since I was married in 1978, I have never exercised any rights of that citizenship. Rather, I have always pledged allegiance to our one nation under God, the United States of America. We live in the greatest nation humankind has ever known and I am proud to be an American.”
After issuing this response, Bachmann reportedly asked the Swiss government to renounce her Swiss citizenship. The restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies has had a field day critizing Bachmann.
Earlier Today, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez, speaking in Maricopa County, Arizona today announced that "the Department of Justice did something it has done only once before in the 18-year history of our civil police reform work; we filed a contested lawsuit to stop discriminatory and unconstitutional law enforcement practices. In our police reform work, we have invariably been able to work collaboratively with law enforcement agencies to build better departments and safer communities. Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Arpaio have been a glaring exception. Attempts to forge solutions to address the serious civil rights and public safety concerns have proven elusive." Here is the complaint.
Matters have gone distinctly downhill for Sheriff Arpaio, known for his tough-on-immigration stands, since the U.S. Department of Justice in December 2011 issued a scathing report documenting the rampant civil rights violations of Latinos and immigrants by his officer.
The introductory paragraphs in the Complaint in the DOJ action offer a firm sense of the strong case that the government has built against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office:
1. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio (Arpaio) have engaged and continue to engage in a pattern or practice of unlawful discriminatory police conduct directed at Latinos in Maricopa County and jail practices that unlawfully discriminate against Latino prisoners with limitedEnglish language skills. For example, Latinos in Maricopa County are frequently stopped, detained, and arrested on the basis of race, color, or national origin, andLatino prisoners with limited English language skills are denied important constitutional protections. In addition, Defendants MCSO and Arpaio pursue apattern or practice of illegal retaliation against their perceived critics by subjectingthem to baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits, or meritlessadministrative actions.
2. As a result of the pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination, Latinos in Maricopa County are systematically denied their constitutional rights; the relationshipbetween MCSO and key segments of the community is eroded, making it more difficult for MCSO to fight crime; and the safety of prisoners and officers in the jails is jeopardized. Constitutional policing is an essential element of effective lawenforcement. MCSO and Arpaio’s conduct is neither constitutional nor effective law enforcement.
3. Defendant Maricopa County, which is responsible for funding and oversight of MCSO, has failed to ensure that MCSO’s programs or activities complywith the requirements of the Constitution and federal law.
4. The Defendants’ violations of the Constitution and laws of the United States are the product of a culture of disregard in MCSO for Latinos that starts at thetop and pervades the organization. MCSO jail employees frequently refer to Latinos as “wetbacks,” “Mexican bitches,” and “stupid Mexicans.” MCSO supervisors involved in immigration enforcement have expressed anti-Latino bias, in one instance widely distributing an email that included a photograph of a Chihuahua dog dressed in swimming gear with the caption “A Rare Photo of a Mexican Navy Seal.” MCSO and Arpaio’s words and actions set the tone and create a culture of bias that contributes to unlawful actions.
5. MCSO promotes, and is indifferent to, the discriminatory conduct of its law enforcement officers, as is demonstrated by inadequate policies, ineffective training,virtually non-existent accountability measures, poor supervision, scant data collection mechanisms, distorted enforcement prioritization, an ineffective complaint and disciplinary system, and dramatic departures from standard law enforcementpractices.
6. This Complaint sets out three categories of unlawful conduct: (1) a pattern or practice of discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional law enforcement actions against Latinos in Maricopa County; (2) discriminatory jail practices against Latinoprisoners with limited English language skills; and (3) a pattern or practice of retaliatory actions against perceived critics of MCSO activities.
7. This action is brought to enforce the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment,and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution; the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141; Title VI of the CivilRights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d to 2000d-7; the Title VI implementingregulations issued by the United States Department of Justice, 28 C.F.R. §§ 42.101 to42.112; and Title VI contractual assurances.
8. The United States seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to remedy the Defendants’ violations of the law and to ensure that MCSO implements sustainable reforms establishing police and jail practices that are constitutional. Implementation of constitutional policing practices will enhance public safety for people in Maricopa County.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Report Examines Rise of Radical-Right Parties in Europe and Assesses the Role of Immigration as a Factor in those Gains
In Greece, neo-Nazi anti-immigrant party Golden Dawn made unanticipated gains in last week’s parliamentary elections and France’s nationalist National Front made a strong showing in the first round of the presidential election in April. In the Netherlands and Belgium, far-right parties have launched websites inviting the public to report crimes allegedly committed by unauthorized immigrants. And the Dutch coalition government collapsed last month after the nationalist party of anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders quit budget talks. As far-right parties across Europe capture headlines and in some cases shape government policy, significant confusion remains about the nature of their public support and how closely it is rooted in xenophobic feelings.
While immigration is thought to be a major factor fueling the rise of the European far right, a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report finds that although there clearly is a relationship, the connection is not as straightforward as is often assumed. In The Relationship Between Immigration and Nativism in Europe and North America, political scientist Cas Mudde examines the electoral performance of far-right parties in Europe and North America since 1980, noting that only a handful have had moderate electoral success (defined as gaining 15 percent of the vote or better in two or more elections.) Disentangling the role played by immigration — particularly at a time of economic austerity, high unemployment and rising skepticism in some quarters about the European Union — is a complex proposition. Mudde, a political science professor at DePauw University, notes that higher levels of immigration in the three regions examined (North America, Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe) do not automatically lead to more votes for radical-right parties. High rates of immigration are most closely linked to the rise of far-right parties in Western Europe but play much less of a role in Central and Eastern Europe and also in North America, where the most important anti-immigration actors are single-issue groups, not political parties. Consistently across countries, Mudde finds, the radical right frames the immigration debate on the basis of two main themes: cultural threat (broadened to cultural-religious threat) and security threat (expanded to criminal-terrorist threat). The report concludes that nativist groups have typically had only a marginal effect on immigration policy in all three regions studied, mainly because they are rarely part of government. However in the three countries where they are part of government (Austria, Italy, and Switzerland), they have been instrumental in introducing more restrictive immigration policies.
From the New York Immigration Coalition:
On New Year’s Day 2011, Sara Martinez, traveling with her five-year-old daughter, was taken off a bus in Rochester by Border Patrol agents and put into deportation proceedings when she could not produce the requested ID. It looked like she would become one more statistic among the 400,000 individuals deported each year. But in summer 2011, the Obama Administration promised to use prosecutorial discretion to focus enforcement against public safety threats and to spare law-abiding family members the trauma of deportation.
On Friday, May 4, 2012, Sara received word that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency would drop deportation proceedings against her.
She fit the criteria for prosecutorial discretion perfectly, but this victory did not come easily.
This victory would not have happened without:
Whose love for her daughter, commitment to her community, and whose courage and integrity were an inspiration to all of us who embarked on this campaign in her defense.
Sara’s Sunset Park community—
The numerous church and non-profit groups that knew Sara, benefited from her volunteerism, and came out to defend her, sending affidavits of support to ICE.
Who signed hundreds of petitions to ICE urging them not to deport Sara Martinez.
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez—
Sara’s representative in Congress, whose letter to and direct advocacy with ICE Director John Morton triggered ICE’s decision to reconsider earlier denials and stop the deportation proceedings against Sara.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
On-Line News Story Comment of the Day: "The more we do to drive Hispanics from our midst the better"
Readers know that every so often I find -- and post -- a particularly jarring comment on an op-line version of a serious immigration-related news story. I wanted to share one with you. A CNN story reports that just a few months after four East Haven police officers were arrested and indicted in a nasty case for allegedly targeting and harassing Latinos for many years, Connecticut's state legislature passed a modest bill designed to combat racial profiling. The bill, which awaits the Governor's signature, mandates local and state law enforcement agencies to adopt a "written policy that prohibits the stopping, detention or search of any person when such action is solely motivated by considerations of race, color, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation . . . "
Here is one of the comments on the story:
Too bad. The more we do to drive Hispanics from our midst the better."
Is that what people are thinking in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, etc.?
From the National Immigration Law Center:
ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY
How the Long-Awaited S-Comm “Reforms” Are Designed to Fail
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on April 27, 2012, issued its response to findings and recommendations made by the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on Secure Communities. This response comes more than seven months after the task force issued its recommendations to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on how to reform Secure Communities (S-Comm), and after ICE, which is part of DHS, has activated S-Comm in nearly double the number of jurisdictions that were participating in S-Comm when the task force issued its report. Despite the time spent deliberating the task force’s recommendations, ICE remains unwilling to truly examine and reform this failed program and has not taken seriously even the task force’s modest recommendations. The following is an examination of the task force’s recommendations and ICE’s—and the Obama administration’s—disappointing response. Click here.
The case of Demiraj v. Holder 631 F.3d 194, 201 (5th Cir. 2011)involves a family of Albanians who fear persecution by a human trafficker, Bill Bedini. Edmond Demiraj was slated to testify against the trafficker, who escaped and fled. Mr. Demiraj was eventually deported to Albania, where he was kidnapped, beaten, and shot by Bedini. He then returned to the U.S. where he was ultimately granted Withholding of Removal. Withholding - while it involves a legal analysis similar to asylum - offers fewer benefits than asylum status, and specifically, does not automatically grant derivative status to his wife or child. Thus, Mrs. Demiraj and her son had to file a separate asylum claim, and a different immigration judge found that they could not show that they would be persecuted because of their status as Demiraj family members. Incredulously, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed that decision. Ms. Demiraj and her son filed for certiorari in the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, attorneys representing Ms. Demiraz and her son, received notice that DHS is granting asylum to the entire family. After 10 requests to delay its response to Orrick's cert petition, the government closed the deportation case and granted asylum to the entire family, an outcome that would not have even been possible had Ms. Demiraz won at the Supreme Court!
According to a story in USA Today, a growing number of college and universities are trying to assist undocumented students. Each year, about 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools and an estimated 5-10% go on to college.The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities is urging its member schools to enroll and assist undocumented students. On many campuses, students lead the charge. A study last year involving 447 colleges found that 57% of private and 29% of public schools provide undocumented students with aid.