Saturday, May 19, 2012
From the Bookshelves: Escape from Texas: A Novel of Slavery and the Texas War of Independence by James W. Russell
ABSTRACT: In 1828 James, a slave, arrives in Texas, brought by his owner, Samuel Bingham. Texas is then a part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. James comes to Texas because he has no choice. But once there, he finds a postrevolutionary country where slavery is on the way out and his freedom is a real possibility. His owner, though, is determined to take advantage of the low cost of land in Texas to build up a farm into a cotton plantation with the use of slave labor. Over the next nine years James will experience and participate in a series of wrenching events that marked the origins of the Lone Star State. Set in the years surrounding the 1836 Texas War of Independence, Escape from Texas is a solidly researched examination of the clashing aspirations of slaves, slave owners, Indians, and Mexicans during a turning point of the westward expansion of the United States. While there are a number of novels set in this period of Texas history, Escape from Texas is the only novel that has a slave as a key protagonist and incorporates prominently that point of view of the turbulent events. Its provocative underlying thesis is that the extension of slavery was the true underlying cause of the Texas War of Independence, not yearnings for freedom by the Texas frontiersmen, as American folklore has traditionally had it. Escape from Texas is to the understanding of the Texas War of Independence as Howard Fast's Freedom Road was to the understanding of the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction.
Friday, May 18, 2012
The U.S. Border Patrol’s newly released strategic plan is a decidedly mixed bag when it comes to border security—just like the Border Patrol’s last strategic plan, released in 2004. On the plus side, both documents advocate an intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to border security which focuses on the greatest security threats. Both plans also call for disruption of the smuggling networks which bring unauthorized immigrants, drugs, and other contraband into the United States. On the down side, each plan embraces the simplistic “prevention through deterrence” mentality in which it is believed—or hoped—that heightened border enforcement will scare off unauthorized immigrants and smugglers alike. More broadly, both documents are a reflection of the federal government’s continued misguided emphasis on securing the territory between ports of entry, even though most smuggling now occurs through ports of entry. For more of this story, click here.
While some states pushed for punitive immigration measures over the last year—measures designed to drive immigrants away —others, like those in Michigan, were busy putting together a plan that welcomes immigrants and their revitalizing power to the state. This month, leaders in Michigan—including state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit)—helped launch “Welcoming Michigan,” a statewide initiative that seeks to welcome immigrants and their entrepreneurial talents to Michigan. Read more of this story on Immigration Impact.
From the Immigration Policy Center:
Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases How To Fix a Broken Border: Follow the Money by Terry Goddard, part three of a three-part series on the Southwest Border. In this series, former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard assesses current threats to our border security and calls for a coordinated, multi-dimensional, bi-national approach to cracking down on cartels. Goddard's suggestions for Federal action include targeting cartel money, closing money-laundering loopholes, pursuing cartel leaders, and focusing border security on ports of entry.
Using his experience fighting cartels in Arizona as an example, Goddard argues that “the next step must be national. Using the same leads Arizona derived from wire-transfer data, federal authorities are in an ideal position to coordinate among the states and with Mexican law enforcement to close down the criminal exploitation of the wire-transfer system.” But despite awareness about the money-laundering loopholes, Goddard says the government has not addressed the problem as they should. “Huge amounts of funds flowing illegally out of this country could be stopped," he said, "if financial institutions and government agencies focused on the problem.”
To view the paper in its entirety, click here.
Article of the Day: Academic SAILERS: The Ford Foundation and the Efforts to Shape Legal Education in Africa, 1957-1977 by Jayanth K. Krishnan
Academic SAILERS: The Ford Foundation and the Efforts to Shape Legal Education in Africa, 1957-1977 by Jayanth K. Krishnan Indiana University Maurer School of Law, American Journal of Legal History.
Abstract: This study examines a major law-and-development project in Africa undertaken by the New York-based Ford Foundation in the decades following the Second World War. By the 1960s, many countries in Africa freed themselves of colonial rule, and Ford eagerly sought to assist these newly emerging states in the nation-building process. One area towards which Ford contributed considerable resources was legal education. Labeling its program ‘SAILER’ – or the Staffing of African Institutions of Legal Education and Research – Ford engaged in a range of initiatives, including sending American lawyers to teach in several different African countries and bringing Africans to law schools in the United States to study. The research here evaluates this Ford initiative by relying primarily on three sources of original data: a review of all of Ford’s archival documents on SAILER; interviews with former affiliates of SAILER residing in the United States; and archival research and interviews conducted in Africa during parts of 2010 and 2011. As the findings reveal, the story of this project is more complicated than the conventional wisdom might suggest. To begin, SAILER was not a single, monolithic program; nor was its mission to advance some grand Cold War, American foreign policy objective. Furthermore, the Africans with whom SAILER-officials worked were not all desperately yearning for assistance from the United States; many were sophisticated individuals simply interested in finding ways to enhance the rule of law in their respective countries. SAILER thus was seen as one potential vehicle for achieving this goal. And importantly, the attitudes of, and strategies employed by, those involved with SAILER – both in the United States and in Africa – were not static; they were nuanced and they evolved throughout the course of the project. By 1977 SAILER officially ended, but as this study concludes, the reasons were layered, and they related to contextual factors within Africa as much as to the internal decisions within Ford itself.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
May 16, 2012 - Mallika Dutt, president and CEO of global human rights organization Breakthrough (www.breakthrough.tv), today released the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives vote on H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, which removes several key protections included in the version of the bill passed by the U.S. Senate.
"It is impossible to deny that a war on women is being waged in the United States. And as of today, it is impossible to deny that this war on women is a war on _all_ women in the United States, documented or otherwise. The version of the Violence Against Women Act approved today by the House explicitly and baselessly removes protections for those who need it most: immigrant women, LGBT individuals, and native Americans and Alaskans. As a founder of Sakhi, an anti-domestic violence group for the South Asian community, I have seen first hand how important these protections are for immigrant women. These are battles we thought we had won. These are rights we thought we had secured. Can we stand by as a nation while women are told that today only some of them have the human rights to safety and security? It's time for those of us outraged by women’s human rights violations across borders and oceans to step up for all women’s human rights here at home."
VIDEO: Mallika Dutt statement on the war on immigrant women, Birmingham, AL, March 23, 2012
Julianne Hing writes for Colorlines:
Alabama’s HB 56 was already the harshest state immigration law in the nation. But in the waning hours of the state’s 2012 legislative session and above the din of protestors’ interruptions the state passed a revision to HB 56 on Wednesday which took new steps toward making life for the state’s immigrants even more difficult. HB 658, the revision bill, is now on its way to Gov. Robert Bentley’s desk.
HB 658 preserved many of the most heinous provisions of HB 56, including provisions modeled on Arizona’s SB 1070 which are held up right now in a Supreme Court challenge. Despite months of attempts and near daily rewrites to the bill in an effort to refine the language of HB 56, the new law left intact provisions that compel law enforcement officers to question anyone who appears to be undocumented. The state also left intact the provision that bars undocumented students from any public institution of higher education in Alabama, and mandates that K-12 schools gather data about the immigration statuses of students and their parents. A provision which requires private employers to adopt E-Verify, a worker verification database that’s ostensibly designed to crack down on bosses who hire undocumented workers, was unchanged.
On Wednesday, lawmakers also passed a bracing new provision which calls for the state to create a public, searchable database which includes the name and personal information of any undocumented immigrant who appears in Alabama state court for any reason. Immigrant rights advocates have taken to calling it the “scarlet letter” provision because it would unfairly brand immigrants.
In other instances, provisions like one that makes it illegal for undocumented immigrants to rent property, were modified, but only in ways that serve to strengthen the rest of the law as a whole.
“Our worst fears were confirmed today,” said Luis Robledo, an organizer with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, who spoke with Colorlines just after the Senate vote. “It’s just a monster. [Lawmakers] doubled down and made it worse for the community.” Read more...
Guest Post: Professor Kristina Campbell: Barahona v. Holder and "Material Support" to a Terrorist Organization
Yesterday, we posted about a case that Professor Kristina Campbell argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourt Circuit. Here is a guest post by Professor Campell with more information about the case:
On Tuesday, March 15, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral argument in Barahona v. Holder. The Petitioner, Mr. Barahona, seeks review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that he is inadmissible for having provided “material support” to a terrorist organization, the FMLN, under INA § 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI), back in the early 1980s in his home country, El Salvador.
The Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL), of which I am the Director, has represented Mr. Barahona in his removal proceedings since Fall 2010. When our Clinic took Mr. Barahona’s case, we initially assisted him in applying for relief from removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) before the Immigration Court. Much to our shock and dismay, however, the DHS attorney in Mr. Barahona’s case argued that he was not eligible for NACARA relief because, by failing to prevent FMLN guerrillas from occupying his home in El Salvador more than 25 years ago, he was inadmissible for materially supporting terrorism. The Immigration Judge agreed with the DHS, and our Clinic represented Mr. Barahona in his appeal of that decision to the BIA. The BIA upheld the Immigration Judge’s decision, and we assisted Mr. Barahona in filing a Petition for Review with the Fourth Circuit in late 2011.
Mr. Barahona has been in the United States since the mid-1980s, working and raising a family after fleeing the violence of the civil war in El Salvador. Though his family home was burned down by the FMLN guerrillas and many family members – including his father – were murdered in the war, Mr. Barahona’s applications for asylum filed in 1987 and again in 1995 were denied. After losing his Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in 2010, Mr. Barahona was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that summer. Although the Immigration Judge granted Mr. Barahona a bond because he did not present a flight risk and is not dangerous, he has been unable to pay his bond and remains detained.
The legal issues in Mr. Barahona’s case that are being considered are matters of first impression in the Fourth Circuit. The only other Circuit Court of Appeals that has addressed Mr. Barahona’s primary legal argument concerning the meaning of the phrase “material support,” the Third Circuit, held in Singh-Kaur v. Ashcroft in 2004 that Congress intended the statute to be broad enough to encompass small amounts of support provided to terrorist organizations. In 2006, in Matter of S-K-, the BIA held in a precedent decision that while the argument that the word “material” should be given independent consideration in determining the meaning of the statute is not frivolous, they declined to reach that issue and interpret the meaning of “material support” consistent with the manifest intent of Congress.
While Mr. Barahona’s primary argument is that the occupation of his home by the FMLN guerrillas, and their forced use of the kitchen in his home to cook their food does not constitute “material support” within the meaning of the statute, his secondary argument is that the statute is ambiguous as to its application for persons who provided “material support” under duress. Mr. Barahona’s argument is based on the United States Supreme Court’s holding in 2009 in Negusie v. Holder, in which the Court – interpreting the similar “persecutor bars” to admissibility in the INA – remanded the case to the BIA in order for the agency to determine whether Congress intended the statute to apply to persons who assisted in persecution under coercion or duress. Like the persecutor bar, the material support bar in the INA is silent regarding the relevance of duress, and Mr. Barahona argues that the BIA must address whether Congress intended the bar to apply to persons whose conduct occurred under duress or threat of death.
At oral argument on Tuesday, the Court seemed to be concerned with the government’s position that the material support bar in INA § 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI) is seemingly limitless, and could be theoretically be applied in a myriad of factual situations presumably not intended by Congress. For example, the government conceded at oral argument that the pilot of a hijacked commercial airliner who safely landed a plane full of civilians with a gun to his head could be inadmissible for providing “material support” to a terrorist organization within the meaning of INA § 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI). By the same token, the Court appeared concerned about its ability to review the scope of the material support bar as interpreted by the BIA, which the Court is required to give deference to under the Supreme Court’s decision in Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., unless the agency’s interpretation is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law.
The Court should issue a decision in Mr. Barahona’s case in the next several months. In the interim, the audio of the oral argument can be accessed here.
Professor Kristina M. Campbell is Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
France has long faced a contentious debate of crucial importance for immigrants and their descendents — defining what it means to “be French,” a debate that flared in its recent presidential election in which a significant percentage of voters supported a platform critical of immigration and its effects on society. Though countries with rich histories of immigration such as the United States and Canada accept “dual belonging” at least in practice, this concept has been criticized and perceived as at odds with a person’s commitment to French identity.
Recent surveys of French immigrants, however, have shown the opposite to be true. These findings demonstrate that multiple allegiances are not an impediment to integration; it is possible to “feel French” and maintain links with one’s country of origin. However, because of external perceptions, native French citizens are far less likely to accept this adoption of French identity.
In French National Identity and Integration: Who Belongs to the National Community, sociodemographer Patrick Simon examines perceptions of national identity and the rejection of plural belongings in French society, which have created conditions for the marginalization of visible minorities. Simon, Director of Research at the Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques (INED) and a researcher at the Center for European Studies at Institut d'Études Politiques (Sciences Po), draws from the 2008-09 Trajectories and Origins survey of 22,000 respondents in refuting the notion that the foreign born will weaken social cohesion in France.
While France is increasingly diverse, recent identity debates show little room for inclusion of ethnic minorities. This was again evident in the 2012 presidential elections, with 18 percent of the first round vote going to Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate whose platform espouses an anti-immigration platform, and outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy adopting similar rhetoric in his campaign.
Simon points to the need to create a new framework for equality, which includes updating the French concept of immigrant integration. Such changes remain a challenge, as newly appointed President Francois Hollande has pledged to keep the burqa ban, enforcing the idea that aspects of minority culture are incompatible with being French.
Diary of a Bilingual School: How a Constructivist Curriculum, a Multicultural Perspective, and a Commitment to Dual Immersion Education Combined to Foster Fluent Bilingualism in Spanish- and English-Speaking Children By Sharon Adelman Reyes & James Crawford
Dual immersion, a popular new way to cultivate bilingualism, is capturing the attention of parents and educators alike. By bringing together children from diverse backgrounds to learn each other’s languages in a natural setting, it has proved far more effective at cultivating fluency than traditional approaches. But how do these programs actually work? What goes on in dual immersion classrooms? And what is it that makes them so effective? Diary of a Bilingual School answers these questions with a unique mix of narratives and analysis. Depicting a year in the life of a second-grade classroom, it demonstrates what can happen when the instruction is bilingual and the curriculum is constructivist.
The book focuses on Chicago’s Inter-American Magnet School, one of the nation’s most acclaimed dual immersion programs, where children thrive in an environment that unlocks their intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Simultaneously, without conscious effort, they become proficient in two languages and at home in a culture that differs from their own. For those who want to discover the benefits of dual immersion for their children or for their students—or who want to learn more about child-centered approaches to teaching — Diary of a Bilingual School is a must.
California Supreme Court To Decide Whether Undocumented Immigrant May Be Admitted to the California State Bar
On a controversy that has been brewing, the California Supreme Court yesterday unanimously issued an order directing the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California to show cause before the Supreme Court why the court should grant the Committee’s motion to admit Sergio C. Garcia to the State Bar of California as a licensed attorney. Garcia has graduated from law school in California and has passed the California bar examination, but is currently an undocumented immigrant. After reviewing his application and performing a moral character review, the Committee of Bar Examiners certified his name to the Supreme Court for admission to the State Bar. The bar notified the court of Garcia’s immigration status at the time the motion was filed.
The Supreme Court’s order directs the Committee of Bar Examiners and Garcia to file opening briefs in support of the Committee’s motion by June 18, 2012, and invites others to file amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court, either in support of or in opposition to the motion. In particular, the order invites amicus participation by the Attorneys General of California and the United States. The order also lists five specific questions as “among the issues that should be briefed.” The five questions are:
1. Does 8 U.S.C. section 1621, subdivision (c) apply and preclude this court’s admission of an undocumented immigrant to the State Bar of California? Does any other statute, regulation, or authority preclude the admission?
2. Is there any state legislation that provides — as specifically authorized by 8 U.S.C. section 1621, subdivision (d) — that undocumented immigrants are eligible for professional licenses in fields such as law, medicine, or other professions, and, if not, what significance, if any, should be given to the absence of such legislation?
3. Does the issuance of a license to practice law impliedly represent that the licensee may be legally employed as an attorney?
4. If licensed, what are the legal and public policy limitations, if any, on an undocumented immigrant’s ability to practice law?
5. What, if any, other concerns arise with a grant of this application?
Once the briefing is completed and the court has an opportunity to consider it, the court may set the case for oral argument.
Jerome Fishkin, Esq. has confirmed that he is representing Sergio Garcia.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
A fight over who can be a U.S. citizen has turned into a question about who can make the rules in the U.S. Senate. The government watchdog group Common Cause is using the filibuster that blocked the Dream Act to challenge the way legislation is derailed in the Senate.
Erika Andiola was 11 when her mother brought her to the U.S. from Mexico. She grew up in Arizona, attended Arizona State University and joined the effort to pass the Dream Act. That’s the measure to put undocumented college students and members of the U.S. military on a path to U.S. citizenship.
When the House passed the Dream Act, Andiola figured the Senate would, too. "Everybody was talking about the Dream Act. I was really, really hopeful that something was going to happen. And it didn’t. It failed by only five votes."
Actually, what failed was the vote to end the filibuster that had blocked a floor vote on the Dream Act. A majority of senators — 55 — voted to end the filibuster, but you need 60 to do it.
Former Pennsylvania congressman Bob Edgar says a minority "can't hold hostage the nation's business." Edgar is the president of Common Cause. That group, along with three Dream Act students, is suing the U.S. Senate.
Edgar says filibusters stop the majority from getting the people’s business done. "In recent years," he said, "the filibuster has been used to stifle debate and action on a vast array of legislation passed by the House and supported by a clear majority of senators." Read more....
ACLU Georgia has issued a comprehensive report on immigration detention in Georgia: Prisoners of Profit: Immigrants and Detention in Georgia. Serious concerns over due process, living conditions, medical care and abuse of power are covered. Click here for the report.
Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States and Europe: The Use of Legalization/ Regularization as a Policy Tool
Legalization of unauthorized immigrants in the United States and Europe ("regularizations" in the European context) have been used repeatedly for broad and discrete groups. These programs seek to balance the goal of bringing unauthorized immigrants into the mainstream of society for economic and humanitarian reasons with the public and political pressures to stem illegal migration in the long term. Here is a look from Migration Information Source at the differences between these sometimes contentious policy tools and their use, both historically and in recent years.
Clinical Law Fellow The Clinical Fellow: Immigration Law Clinic, University Of Massachusetts School Of Law—Dartmouth
The Clinical Fellow in the Immigration Law Clinic at the University Of Massachusetts School Of Law—Dartmouth will work in the Immigration Law Clinic on direct representation, student supervision, teaching, and appellate and advocacy work. Here is the complete job description.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS; Juris Doctorate; Admission to the Massachusetts Bar or eligibility to be waived into practice in Massachusetts upon assuming clinical responsibilities.
EXPERIENCE: Previous student/staff experience in a law clinic.
OTHER: Evening and weekend hours and travel as required.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: • Previous experience in immigration law and practice • Previous successful completion of work as a law student in a law school’s immigration clinic • Ability to communicate in Spanish as a second language • Two years of practice experience in immigration removal defense, asylum practice and Special Immigrant Juvenile cases.
To apply please send a letter of interest, current resume and the contact information for up to three professional references to: Search for Clinical Law Fellow, Office of Human Resources, 285 Old Westport Rd., North Dartmouth, MA 02747. The review of applications will begin May 22, 2012 and continue until the position is filled.
A new report by Grace Meng of Human Rights Watch entitled “Cultivating Fear” looks at the high risk of sexual violence and sexual harassment faced by farmworker women and girls. The report, based on interviews across the country, from workers working in a range of crops, reveals stories of rape, groping, stalking, pressure to engage in sexual relations, and verbal abuse, perpetrated by supervisors, foremen, employers, and others in positions of power. The report recommends that Congress pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women reauthorization bill, and to reject the House version which eliminates many important protections for immigrant victims of crimes. Below is a short video with testimonies from two farmworker women.
This is an interesting Colorlines article about a case argued yesterday in the U.S. Coourt of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Professor Kristina M. Campbell, Director, Immigration and Human Rights Clinic University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, argued the case.
Immigration Article of the Day: "Crossing Borders: Creating an American Law Clinic in China" by CECILY E. BASKIR
"Crossing Borders: Creating an American Law Clinic in China" Clinical Law Review, Fall 2012 NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper CECILY E. BASKIR, Peking University School of Transnational Law
ABSTRACT: Like so much in China, Chinese legal education has experienced tremendous growth and change through the current Reform and Opening period. The numbers of law schools, law students, and lawyers have exploded in recent years, propelled in part by desires to strengthen and reform legal institutions and create a “rule of law” society. With those reforms has come the introduction of clinical legal education, and in the last ten or so years, over 80 Chinese law schools have incorporated it into their course offerings. One of the youngest contributions to this reform movement is the Center for Cross-Border Advocacy at the Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL). Under the supervision of an American clinical law professor licensed to practice law in the United States, Chinese law students in the Center represent immigrants in the United States at the administrative appeals stage of their deportation proceedings. In the complementary seminar, the students study U.S. immigration law and appellate procedure, practice advanced legal writing and oral advocacy, and explore issues of professional responsibility and cross-cultural lawyering. The entire course is conducted in English. This paper examines the creation of the Center for Cross-Border Advocacy and how it fits into the Chinese context of clinical legal education. How does it compare in its structure, goals, and challenges to clinical legal education programs at other Chinese institutions? What benefits does it offer participating students? What potential might it hold for other developing clinical legal education programs around the world, and what drawbacks might stand in the way?