June 8, 2012
Symposium Issue: Persistent Puzzles in Immigration Law
Immigrants Honored With Presidential Medal of Freedom
The contributions of immigrants to our country are numerous and have impacted every generation of Americans. Last week, President Barack Obama highlighted the contributions of two immigrants— Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a previous ImmigrationProf Immigrant of the Day, and Jan Karski— by awarding them the highest civilian honor possible: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Both Secretary Albright and the late Professor Karski are examples of America’s enduring commitment to welcoming immigrants to our land.
Green Card Stories Wins 5 National Awards
The book Green Card Stories, previously spotlighted on ImmigrationProf, has won five national Awards. It depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in artful written profiles and photos. Each story in Green Card Stories includes a written narrative of about 1,000 words, accompanied by artistic photos by an award-winning photographer.
Fighting Notario Fraud: Consumer Protection Theories
Fighting Notario Fraud: Consumer Protection Theories Monday, July 23, 2012, 1–4:00 p.m.
Location: Bryan Cave LLP 1155 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20004 COSPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AND THE ABA SECTION OF ANTITRUST LAW PRIVATE ADVERTISING LITIGATION COMMITTEE. Click here for a flyer.
Join the ABA Commission on Immigration for this training opportunities.
Report: U.S. Losing High Skilled Immigrants to Canada, China, and Australia
“As our competitors press ahead with strategic policies suited to a global century, how much longer can America afford to drift with an immigration regime built in 1965?” This is the question addressed in recent report by the Partnership for a New American Economy and The Partnership for New York City. According to the report (which is summarized with a link to the report on this Immigration Impact blog post), as other countries simplify and expand their immigration programs to attract entrepreneurs and high-skilled workers, the U.S. maintains an old system that makes it difficult for much needed workers to secure a visa. Many high-skilled workers recruited by China, Australia, and other countries are graduates of U.S. universities.
Immigration Article of the Day: Reverse-Commandeering by Margaret Hu
Abstract: An unprecedented historical movement is underway: a hostile takeover of federal immigration law and policy by state and local governments. The growing proliferation of thousands of state and local immigration laws can best be described as reverse-commandeering — a deliberate attempt to break the sole prerogative power of the federal government to dictate immigration policy. Increasingly, immigration federalism laws— state and local attempts to control unwanted migration — exemplify the inverse of the problem posed by the impermissible commandeering of state resources by the federal government under the Tenth Amendment. This growing movement represents an attempt to control the terms of what federal resources must be allocated to accommodate a myriad of state immigration enforcement programs. The state takeover of federal immigration database screening protocols in particular poses significant resource costs, and it imposes programmatic and prosecutorial conflict, frustrating the implementation of a coherent immigration policy at the federal level. Consequently, this Article concludes that these laws should be examined within a jurisprudential frame that, although using the Supremacy Clause and existing preemption doctrine, applies anti-commandeering principles.
June 7, 2012
DHS Fact Sheet: Refugees and Asylees: 2011
Atotal of 56,384 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2011 . . . . The lead-ing countries of nationality for refugees were Burma, Bhutan, and Iraq. During 2011, 24,988 individuals were granted asylum, including 13,484 who were granted asylum affirmatively by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and 11,504 who were granted asylum defensively by the Department of Justice . . . . The leading countries of nationality for persons granted either affirmative or defensive asylum were China, Venezuela, and Ethiopia." (emphasis added) (footnotes omitted).
Promises, Promises: The Beat Goes On -- Deportations Continue as Obama Administration Reviews Deportation Backlog
Julia Preston for thr N.Y. Times reports something that should not be surprising to immigration attorneys across teh United States: "After seven months of an ambitious review by the Obama administration of all deportations before the nation’s immigration courts, very few of them have been halted . . . . Under the review of more than 411,000 deportation cases, the first of its kind, fewer than 2 percent have been closed so far. The numbers fall far short of expectations raised among immigrants, including many Latinos, when top administration officials announced they would comb through backlogged court dockets to close cases where the immigrants had strong family ties to this country and no criminal records."
Wasting Away in Margaritaville? The "war on terror" continues -- No-fly list keeps grad grounded in Costa Rica
A San Diego State University graduate trying to return home after a family celebration of his commencement from a master’s program in Costa Rica reportedly has been told that he is on a U.S. government no-fly list and could not board a plane. Kevin Iraniha, a Muslim who was born and raised in San Diego, was “shocked” and said he has never been involved in criminal or suspicious activity.
Immigration Article of the Day: The Whole Better than the Sum: A Case for the Categorical Approach to Determining the Immigration Consequences of Crime by Jennifer Lee Koh
The Whole Better than the Sum: A Case for the Categorical Approach to Determining the Immigration Consequences of Crime by Jennifer Lee Koh (Western State University - College of Law), Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Vol. 26, 2012 (Forthcoming).
ABSTRACT: The immigration laws have long described categories of crimes that lead to adverse immigration consequences, such as deportation. But how should adjudicators assess whether a given conviction triggers deportation? The federal courts and administrative agencies have typically employed a methodology — known as the categorical approach — that focuses on statutory elements, rather than the underlying facts of the crime. The categorical approach’s counterfactual nature, its tendency to produce counterintuitive results, and its doctrinal complexity have caused some courts and the immigration agency to attack, dilute, and inconsistently apply it. Rather than assess the categorical approach based on the outcomes generated in individual cases, this article evaluates the cumulative effect of the categorical approach. I argue that the categorical approach, a procedural hybrid of statutory interpretation and evidentiary rules, has substantive value. The categorical approach corrects for certain pervasive asymmetries facing noncitizens -- asymmetries that were sharpened by the passage of the 1996 immigration laws, which vastly expanded the kinds of crimes that lead to deportation while virtually eliminating discretionary review. Despite its problems, a strong version of the categorical approach acts as a de facto substitute for the absence of proportionality and relief in the federal deportation provisions, the unrestrained prosecutorial powers of the federal immigration agency, and limitations on judicial review. Until deeper reforms in the immigration laws take place, the categorical approach provides meaningful benefits to noncitizens and the immigration system.
Professor Koh has been very busy, with two Immigration Articles of the Day just this week.
June 6, 2012
Senior Immigrants in the United States
The nearly 5 million immigrants age 65 and older residing in the United States in 2010 accounted for 12 percent of all elderly as well as 12 percent of the total immigrant population. Migration Policy Institute's Jeanne Batalova examines the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly immigrant population, including where they live, countries of origin, and their sources of income.
Immigration Article of the Day: Waiving Due Process (Goodbye): Stipulated Orders of Removal and the Crisis in Immigration Adjudication by Jennifer Lee Koh
"Waiving Due Process (Goodbye): Stipulated Orders of Removal and the Crisis in Immigration Adjudication," forthcoming North Carolina Law Review, by JENNIFER LEE KOH, Western State University - College of Law.
ABSTRACT: In recent years, an increasing number of deportations have taken place through a little-known procedure called stipulated removal, in which a noncitizen agrees to the entry of a formal removal order while waiving the right to an in-person hearing before an Immigration Judge. The federal government has looked to stipulated orders of removal as a partial solution to the mismatch between its enforcement goals and the resources of the immigration court system – a mismatch that, many commentators agree, has reached a state of crisis. Stipulated removal arguably offers some benefits to both the noncitizen and the government, insofar as the noncitizen stands to receive a shorter time in immigration detention and faster removal, while the federal government benefits from efficiency gains and political rewards. This Article, the first academic piece to examine stipulated orders of removal, argues that stipulated orders of removal under current law and practice should not function as a partial solution to the crisis in immigration adjudication. The Article offers an in-depth examination of stipulated removal, which has largely affected unrepresented noncitizens in immigration detention centers who faced severe information deficits during the removal process. Relying on both the illegal re-entry context and the familiar Mathews v. Eldridge framework, the Article argues that the stipulated order of removal program violates due process, and offers suggestions for reform.
June 5, 2012
Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History today launched Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship, a web-based learning tool designed to help immigrants prepare for the civics portion of the naturalization test. This interactive resource features videos and multimedia activities that showcase artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution’s collections and exhibitions.
Help in KIND: Group Guides Pro Bono Attorneys Serving Unaccompanied Child Immigrants
The ABA Journal has a nice story ("Help in KIND: Group Guides Pro Bono Attorneys Serving Unaccompanied Child Immigrants") by Anna Stolley Persky about Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), which helps provide proo bono assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children.
Immigration Article of the Day: Racial Profiling Legalized in Arizona, by MARJORIE COHN
Abstract: In 2010, Arizona enacted S.B. 1070, which legalizes racial profiling in that state, and effectively converts local law enforcement officials into de facto U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. This article argues that the statute is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment, is void for vagueness, and violates the Supremacy Clause. S.B. 1070 also suffers from practical deficiencies in that it will harm communities and increase harassment of Latinos. In addition, it runs afoul of universally recognized human rights. Other states have passed laws similar to S.B. 1070. The constitutionality of S.B. 1070 is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will issue a decision by the end of its 2011-2012 term. The Court is reviewing an opinion by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturning some provisions of S.B. 1070 as violative of the Supremacy Clause.
June 4, 2012
Report: NSEERS Effect: A Decade of Racial Profiling, Fear, and Secrecy
The Rights Working Group released The NSEERS Effect: A Decade of Racial Profiling, Fear, and Secrecy , a report critical of the Obama Administration's handling of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). NSEERS is a long discredited and discriminatory program launched by the federal government in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. The program, in part, required male visitors from predominantly Muslim nations to register with the federal government for fingerprinting, photographs, and lengthy, invasive interrogations. The implementation of NSEERS revealed it to be ineffective and a clear example of discriminatory and arbitrary racial profiling.
The NSEERS Effect documents the ways in which individuals and families have been and continue to be harmed by NSEERS as well as the Obama Administration's failure to provide redress to all individuals impacted by the program.
The report makes a number of recommendations including:
* the full dismantling of NSEERS;
* relief for all those negatively impacted by the program; and
* the discontinuation of the use of data gathered through the program.
The NSEERS Effect was prepared by Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law's Center for Immigrants' on behalf of the Rights Working Group.
Immigration Article of the Day: The "Ethical" Surplus of the War on Illegal Immigration by Leticia M. Saucedo and Francis Joseph Mootz III
The 'Ethical' Surplus of the War on Illegal Immigration by Leticia M. Saucedo (UC Davis) and Francis Joseph Mootz III (McGeorge). Iowa Journal on Gender, Race and Justice, 2012, Forthcoming.
ABSTRACT: The Aristotelian philosopher, Gene Garver, suggests that rhetorical claims have an "ethical surplus" that extends beyond the specific claim being advanced at the moment. This follows from the fact that rhetoric includes not only logos, but also pathos and ethos. We adopt the thesis of "ethical surplus," but in a negative context. The "war on illegal immigration" has generated an ethical surplus that leads its promoters beyond the specific claim of securing borders against unlawful entry. After demonstrating that there is an express rhetoric of "war" used in connection with Arizona's adoption of recent anti-immigrant legislation, we explore the implication of this rhetoric in the more recent effort to eliminate race-conscious education programs focused on Mexican Americans in the public schools of Tucson. We conclude that the war on illegal immigration has generated its ethical surplus in a manner that betrays the true character of this war. It is not a war against undocumented border crossing; rather, it is a war against the perceived threat posed by Mexicans living in the United States. As the ethical surplus of the anti-immigrant hyperbole becomes manifest, it reveals clearly the immoral and discriminatory nature of the rhetoric at work.
NY Times Supports the DREAMers
The N.Y. Times has weighed in in facor of the DREAMers. In an op/ed published today, the Times ackowledges that "President Obama has been an overachiever on immigration enforcement, far outpacing his predecessor, George W. Bush, in swiftly racking up a million deportations. But on the other crucial part of reform — getting undocumented immigrants right with the law — Mr. Obama talks a lot but has done far too little." It goes on to staht that "there is one important thing Mr. Obama could do right now to give these young people hope: He could use his executive authority to halt deportations of those who would be eligible for the Dream Act. Young immigrant advocates, through an inspiring series of protests, marches and other lobbying efforts, have built a strong case for both temporary protection and legalization. On May 28 they sent Mr. Obama a letter, signed by more than 90 immigration-law professors, explaining the ways he could grant these young people “administrative relief” while they wait for Congress to do the right thing.
Immigrant of the Day: Mickael Pietrus, Boston Celtics (Guadaloupe)
Mickael Pietrus currently plays for the Boston Celtics, which knocked off the Miami Heat last night to tie the NBA semi-final series at two games apiece. Pietrus grabbed some key rebounds in the last minute to help seal the victory.
Can an undocumented immigrant practice law in California?
List to this radio show on Southern California Public Radio addressing the question "Should an undocumented immigrant be allowed to practice law in this country?"The guests include Holly Cooper, lecturer and staff attorney with the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic and John Eastman, professor and former dean at Chapman University Law School.
UPDATE (June 5): For another public radio show on this topic, click here.