Saturday, July 21, 2012

Immigrant Number One (on Ellis Island): The Mysterious Annie Moore


Read this NY Times Magazine Story about the mysterious first immigrant -- Annie Moore from Ireland -- to disembark on the iconic Ellis Island.


July 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


Apprehensions for immigration violations peaked at 1.8 million in 2000 but dropped to 516,992 in 2010—the lowest level since 1972, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

Between 2000 and 2010, arrests booked by the U.S. Marshals Service for federal immigration offenses tripled, from 25,205 to 82,438 arrests. Immigration apprehensions resulted in about 16 arrests per 100 apprehensions in 2010, up from 2 arrests per 100 in 2002.

In 2010, 87 percent of apprehensions of persons in the U.S. illegally were at or near the Southwest border. Southwest border sectors with the most apprehensions in 2010 included the Tucson sector (212,202), followed by San Diego (68,565), Rio Grande Valley (59,766), Laredo (35,287), El Centro (32,562) and Del Rio (14,694).

The majority of persons apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 were citizens of Mexico (83 percent). An increasing share of persons apprehended came from countries in Central America, reaching 12 percent in 2010, up from three percent in 2002. The percentage of deportable aliens from other locations—such as South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and Canada—remained relatively stable at around one or two percent in both 2002 and 2010.

Ninety percent of federal immigration arrests in 2010 occurred in five U.S. Southwest border federal judicial districts: California Southern, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas Western and Texas Southern. Approximately 90 percent of suspects arrested for a federal criminal immigration offense were male.

Most suspects arrested (41 percent) were between ages 25 and 34. Twenty-six percent were persons under age 25, and 9 percent were age 45 or older. About two-thirds of immigration violators arrested for a federal immigration offense in 2010 were charged with a misdemeanor for illegal entry and were sentenced to jail for up to 180 days by a U.S. magistrate judge. The remaining third were charged in U.S. district court for a felony or a more serious misdemeanor.

The most common immigration offense charged in U.S. district court in 2010 was illegal reentry (81 percent), followed by alien smuggling (12 percent), misuse of visas (6 percent) and illegal entry (1 percent).

Most immigration defendants were male (93 percent), Hispanic (96 percent) and over age 25 (88 percent).

Nearly half (48 percent) of offenders charged with alien smuggling were U.S. citizens.

Immigration matters with the highest prosecution rate in 2010 included suspects with alien smuggling (80 percent), misuse of visas (79 percent) and illegal reentry (67 percent) as the primary offense charged.

Of the immigration defendants charged in U. S. district court in 2010, two-thirds (66 percent) had a prior felony arrest and more than half (57 percent) had a prior felony conviction. Defendants charged with illegal reentry (85 percent) were more likely to have a prior conviction than those charged with illegal entry (62 percent) and alien smuggling (43 percent).

About two-thirds (65 percent) of illegal reentry defendants had a prior felony conviction, including 25 percent with a prior drug felony conviction and 20 percent with a prior violent felony conviction. Nearly all (97 percent) immigration defendants in cases terminated in 2010 pled guilty.

Most (81 percent) defendants convicted in U. S. district court received a prison sentence. The median prison term was 15 months. At fiscal year-end 2010 (September 30), nearly 22,000 immigration offenders were in federal prison, and 5,000 were on supervised release in the community. The vast majority of immigration offenders in federal prison had been convicted of illegal entry or reentry offenses (nearly 90 percent), followed by alien smuggling (10 percent) and misuse of visas (less than 1 percent).

The report, Immigration Offenders in the Federal Justice System, 2010 (NCJ 238581), was written by BJS statistician Mark Motivans. The report, related documents and additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website.


July 21, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Second Possession of Marijuana = Aggravated Felony

From the Board of Immigration Appeals:

Matter of CUELLAR-Gomez, 25 I&N Dec. 850 (BIA 2012)
(1) A formal judgment of guilt of an alien entered by a municipal court is a "conviction" under section 101(a)(48)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(A) (2006), if the proceedings in which the judgment was entered were genuine criminal proceedings. Matter of Rivera-Valencia, 24 I&N Dec. 484 (BIA 2008), and Matter of Eslamizar, 23 I&N Dec. 684 (BIA 2004), followed.
(2) A Wichita, Kansas, municipal ordinance which recapitulates a Kansas statute prohibiting marijuana possession is a "law or regulation of a State . . . relating to a controlled substance" under section 237(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) (2006).
(3) Possession of marijuana after a prior municipal ordinance conviction for marijuana possession in violation of former sections 65-4162(a) and (b) of the Kansas Statutes Annotated is an aggravated felony under section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Act by virtue of its correspondence to the Federal felony of "recidivist possession," 21 U.S.C. § 844 (2006), provided the prior conviction was final when the second offense was committed. Lopez v. Gonzales, 549 U.S. 47 (2006), followed; Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, 130 S. Ct. 2577 (2010), and Matter of Carachuri-Rosendo, 24 I&N Dec. 382 (BIA 2007), 2577 (2010), distinguished. Read full decision here.


July 20, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Hello Kitty's Ethnic Studies Reading List

HB 2281 is the Arizona Bill that prohibits ethnic studies. Turns out that Hello Kitty is protesting the ban by doing some extra curricular reading (artist credit: Dignidad Rebelde):


Translation: "and says hell no to HB 2281"

Inspired, my daughters and I decided to do a little extra-curricular ethnic studies reading of our own:


July 20, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Civil Rights Groups Seek to Halt S.B. 1070's Section 2(B) from Going Into Effect

As I stated in the immediate wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. United States, the battles over Arizona's S.B. 1070 are not over. 

Immigration Impact reports that, last Tuesday, opponents of Arizona SB 1070 filed papers in court seeking to block S.B. 1070's Section 2(B) -- which requires state and local police to verify the immigration status of persons about which they have a "reasonable suspicion" are undocumented -- from taking effect, arguing that state legislators were driven by anti-Latino bias and that the provision will inevitably result in constitutional violations. The motion, filed by civil rights groups, cited numerous previously undisclosed emails from former State Sen. Russell Pearce, the main sponsor of SB 1070, containing inflammatory comments about Mexico and unauthorized immigrants.

These are excerpts, reprinted in the Arizona Republic, from e-mails Russell Pearce sent from 2006 to 2011. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona acquired about 10,000 pages of e-mails from legislative staff via a public-records request.

"The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two-and-a-half times that of non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the U.S."

"The birth rate among illegal immigrants is substantially higher than the population at large."

"Last week, Denver's illegal aliens sang our national anthem in Spanish and bastardized the words of OUR country's most sacred song."

"Battles commence as Mexican nationalists struggle to infuse their men into American government and strengthen control over their strongholds. One look at Los Angeles with its Mexican-American mayor shows you Vincente Fox's general Varigossa commanding an American city."

"We create cultural and linguistic apartheid by creating a slave class of workers unassimilated while growing in numbers and antagonistic strength. This condition creates a perfect formula for rioting and violence that will tear our nation to pieces!"

"They create enclaves of separate groups that shall balkanize our nation into fractured nightmares of social unrest and poverty." 

The focus of Tuesday’s filing—Section 2(B)—was the one provision of SB 1070 that the Supreme Court declined to block from taking effect. The Court, although rejecting a facial challenge to Section 2(B), left open the door to future legal challenge.

In the filing in Valle del Sol v. Whiting, a case separate from that waged by the Obama administration, civil rights groups argued that sufficient evidence of legal violations already exists to prevent Section 2(B) from being implemented. If the provision is permitted to take effect, the filing said local police would inevitably detain individuals simply to determine their immigration status, a practice the Supreme Court said would violate the Constitution.

The filing included a declaration from Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor, which said his officers could not properly determine whether “reasonable suspicion” exists that an immigrant is unlawfully in the United States, and that his agency would be forced to detain thousands of individuals over the course of a year while awaiting replies from federal immigration officials.

In a broader attack on SB 1070 as a whole, the civil rights groups cited apparent anti-Latino bias by state legislators and their supporters in arguing that Section 2(B) should be enjoined under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

The motion asked the court to strike down a provision of SB 1070 not previously under consideration. According to the motion, the provision, which makes it a crime in Arizona to harbor or transport unauthorized immigrants, is invalid under the portion of the Supreme Court’s opinion striking down provisions of SB 1070 that would have made it a crime under Arizona law to fail to carry valid papers or attempt to work without federal authorization. 

Click here for more on this story.


July 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sentenced to Death in the Desert

The fatal results of the immoral continuation of Operation Gatekeeper continues:

From Border Journey:

Dear friends,

    The president and members of congress sentenced a woman from Guatemala to capital punishment for crossing an imaginary line in search of work.  The sentence was carried out on June 30 in a remote section of desert 50 miles southwest of Tucson.  The woman was struggling to hike up a hill, collapsed face down on the ground, and died.  Her body was found two days later by a University of Michigan archaeology team that returned on July 15 to create a memorial.  It appears she was in her early 30s and her name is unknown.     

    Professor Jason DeLeon showed us the place where she died - a dark stain marked the ground.  He has hiked that trail many times in his work to preserve migrant artifacts (items left behind on the journey) and he often rested in the shade of the mesquite tree where they were building the shrine.  The view looking down the hill from there is starkly beautiful, but she was heading uphill and not able to focus on the scenery.

    Her sentence was imposed by the individuals responsible for policies and laws that enable U.S. corporations to freely move their products around the world while placing severe restrictions on the movement of workers.  The border city of Nogales, Sonora has nearly 100 assembly plants that manufacture goods for export to the U.S.  More than 3,000 people work in the Chamberlin factory producing garage door openers.  Those openers cross easily into Nogales, Arizona but the people that make them would have to hike for days in the southern Arizona desert if they dared to seek better-paying work in the U.S.

    Since the North America Free Trade Agreement was implemented in 1994, the border with Mexico has been enforced through a policy of “deterrence.”  Unauthorized immigrants are forced to cross through the most isolated and dangerous areas along the border.       

    The Border Patrol station in Nogales is the largest in the U.S. and a 20-foot-high border wall separates Nogales, Sonora from Nogales, Arizona.  The woman was prevented from safely crossing between the two sides of the city and, instead, had to cross through the remote desert about 30 miles to the west.

    A patrol from the Samaritans organization was driving along Batamote Road on June 30 when they encountered a young man from El Salvador who was in very bad condition. He said he walked an hour to reach the road and he was seeking help for a woman from Guatemala who was dying.  He asked that the Border Patrol be called to rescue the woman.  The Border Patrol didn’t find her, but they did apprehend the young man and he was then taken to the hospital.

    The mission of Samaritans is to save lives in the Southern Arizona desert by providing humanitarian aid to migrants in distress.  It is an expression of compassionate resistance to policies and laws that enable garage door openers to cross the border while punishing people that are crossing in search of a better life.

    In love and solidarity,


Read more about Operation Gatekeeper here and here.


July 20, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

With eye on Latino vote, Romney ad talks immigration


More conciliatory on immigration than he was during the rough-and-tumble primary campaigns, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is purusing the Latino vote.  Watch the Spanish language ad above.  For analysis from CBS News' Political Hot Sheet, click here.


July 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Hispanics in the Heartland: The Fremont, Nebraska Immigration Ordinance and the Future of Latino Civil Rights by Chad G. Marzen

Hispanics in the Heartland: The Fremont, Nebraska Immigration Ordinance and the Future of Latino Civil Rights by Chad G. Marzen (Florida State University, business)

ABSTRACT:  While Arizona has been labeled by Professor Kristina Campbell as a “modern-day Selma” in the struggle for Latino civil rights, Nebraska has become a state which is a quiet, but promising, state in the movement for Latino civil rights that should not be overlooked. This article examines not only the issues surrounding the Fremont immigration ordinance, but other recent legislative attempts at the state level to curtail the rights of Latinos in Nebraska. While many such legislative attempts to limit the rights of Latinos in Nebraska have taken place in the past several years, the ruling in the Keller case and the Legislature’s April 2012 approval of Nebraska taxpayer funding for prenatal health care benefits for undocumented immigrants places rays of sunshine of hope over a Nebraska landscape which has been increasingly covered with clouds over the civil rights of Latinos. Part I of this article provides a brief background of the Latino culture in Nebraska and discusses the increasing diversity of the state. To better compare the legal issues and effects of the Fremont Ordinance, two other cities who passed similar ordinances which faced legal challenges as to housing provisions, Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Farmers Branch, Texas, are examined in Part II. Part III then discusses the Fremont Ordinance and the Keller decision. Part IV examines other legislative attempts to restrict the rights of Latinos in Nebraska as well as the prenatal health care debate, which has turned the state into another battleground in the national movement for Latino civil rights. Finally, Part V contends that the story of the Fremont Ordinance, the efforts to protect Latino civil rights in Nebraska, and the Keller decision contain several important lessons for the future of Latino civil rights nationwide. First, the success of the restoration of taxpayer funding for prenatal care by the Nebraska Legislature, care for the most vulnerable in society, was a reflection of bipartisan coalition building between immigrants’ rights groups, pro-life groups, and even conservative Republicans. Such coalition-building of diverse groups, particularly the inclusion of religious organizations, is vital for the future of the movement to restore and protect Latino civil rights nationwide. Second, as seen with the Fremont Ordinance, unconstitutional local efforts to deny undocumented immigrants the right to housing comes with a great cost to municipalities. The costs of the defense of the ordinances and the possibility of a city to be mandated to pay the attorney’s fees of Plaintiffs who successfully challenge these ordinances is a powerful economic disincentive for cities to pursue such unnecessary measures. Finally, insurers have not yet provided coverage for a city to pay the attorney’s fees, costs, or expenses awarded against a municipality relating to a housing ordinance which criminalizes the “harboring” of undocumented immigrants. In conclusion, this article briefly offers a discussion of the possible effects of the Arizona v. United States Supreme Court decision on Keller as it awaits its fate before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.


July 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Backlog and Wait Times Reach New Highs (19 Jul 2012)

The number of cases awaiting resolution before the Immigration Courts keeps rising, along with the average time these pending cases have been waiting. At the end of June 2012 the backlog reached a new all-time high of 314,147. According to the very latest data obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), that total is up 5.6 percent this year, 20 percent higher than it was at the end of FY 2010.  Average wait times jumped to 526 days, compared with 489 days at the end of fiscal year 2011 and 447 days at the end of fiscal year 2010.

Despite ICE Director John Morton's announced policy of focusing on deporting serious criminals, the proportion of the Immigration Court's pending caseload made up of "criminal" cases has not increased, but instead has been steadily falling. Merely 7.9 percent of pending Immigration Court cases involved individuals charged with criminal activities, actions adverse to national security, or aiding terrorism as the basis for ICE seeking removal action.

TRAC's latest report on the Immigration Courts can be viewed here.


July 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Limited English Proficient Workers and the Workforce Investment Act: Challenges and Opportunities

In Limited English Proficient Workers and the Workforce Investment Act: Challenges and Opportunities,  Chhandasi Pandya of the Migration Policy Institute writes that, to better equip them with the language and workforce skills to move into middle-skilled jobs, Limited English Proficient immigrant workers are offered services through the Workforce Investment Act. As the US Congress considers reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, policymakers and immigrant advocates are pushing for a variety of changes meant to better help Limited English Proficient (LEP) immigrants access the employment and training services necessary to enter into or advance within the US labor market. With a number of proposals floated to rethink the WIA-funded workforce and adult education systems, the debate highlights the challenges LEP workers face in earning family-sustaining wages and effectively participating in a changing labor market.

WIA represents one of the most important immigrant integration programs at the federal level both in size and scope, and its reauthorization has key implications for the integration of immigrant workers into the US economy and society more broadly.


July 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America by David H.T. Wong


Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America by David H.T. Wong

An epic graphic novel for young people about Chinese immigrants in North America. AVAILABLE November 2012

 The history of Chinese immigration to Canada and the US over the past 100-plus years has been fraught with sadness and indignity; newcomers to North America encountered discrimination, subjugation, and separation from loved ones. As well, in Canada the Chinese head tax was introduced after the Canadian Parliament passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 to discourage Chinese immigrants, while in the US, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act outright banned Chinese immigration to America.

Despite such obstacles, these Chinese newcomers persevered in order to create a better life for the generations to come. Escape to Gold Mountain is the first graphic novel to tell their story: based on historical documents and interviews with elders, this is a vivid history of the Chinese in their search for "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese colloquialism for North America) as seen through the eyes of the Wong family. They traverse the challenges of eking out an existence in their adopted homeland with hope and determination, creating a poignant immigrant's legacy for their sons and daughters.

The author, David H.T. Wong, was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. He is an accomplished architect and a respected Asian Canadian community activist whose family first came to Canada from China 130 years ago.

Escape to Gold Mountain is a moving and gripping story for all young North Americans.  


July 20, 2012 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Act Now to Help Immigrant Women


In a court ruling yesterday, Encarnacion, a young immigrant mother, lost her fight to get back her 5 year old son. He was taken away from her at the age of 6 months, while she was in immigration detention. Against her wishes, he was put up for adoption and her parental rights were terminated.

Breakthrough is rallying support for immigrant women and requests that each of us take a photo with a sign saying #ImHere. Upload it to the #ImHere wall to add your voice to the movement.  Breakthrough's #ImHere campaign brings us together to stand with immigrant women.


July 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Midwest Lures More Immigrants

From Bloomberg News:

Foreign-born engineers and scientists, long the prized recruits of companies in Silicon Valley, are now increasingly finding a home in the Midwest.

A report released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution found that while the San Jose metropolitan area still leads the nation in hiring skilled foreign workers on temporary visas, places such as Columbus, Ind., and Bloomington, Ill., are also becoming centers of activity for foreign-born employees hired under the H-1B program.

The study highlights the nation's growing reliance upon workers from overseas to fill positions in science, technology and engineering. Just 4 percent of the world's undergraduate degrees in engineering are awarded in the United States, it said. Read more...


July 19, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Durbin Discusses Deferred Action Policy for DREAMers

From the e Center for American Progress Action Fund:

Sen. Richard Durbin Discusses the DREAM Act, DHS’s “Deferred Action” Policy, and the Road Forward for DREAM Youth

July 24, 2012, 12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

RSVP to attend this event
Watch Live Online
Featured speaker:
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Assistant Senate Majority Leader and original sponsor of the DREAM Act

Featured panelists:
Tolu Olubunmi, Consultant and former Communications Director for United We Dream
Cesar Vargas, law graduate and Managing Partner of DRM Capitol Group
Tereza Lee, Concert Pianist, Doctoral Student, and the first DREAMer to be profiled by Sen. Durbin

Angela M. Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy, Center for American Progress Action Fund

A month ago the president announced a major program offering undocumented immigrant youth who would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act the chance to apply for “deferred action,” protecting them against deportation. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) is an original sponsor and has been the foremost champion of the DREAM Act for the 11 years that the legislation has been pending. In recent years, he has profiled dozens of these youths, who call themselves DREAMers, on the Senate floor, bringing to life the stories and struggles of young immigrants who are American in all ways but a piece of paper. Sen. Durbin’s floor speech this week will mark the 50th DREAMer he has featured on the Senate floor.

Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Sen. Richard Durbin, and several DREAMers for a discussion of the past, present, and future of the DREAM Act. Sen. Durbin will first speak about his continuing fight to pass legislation to safeguard immigrant youth, highlight the personal stories of some of the many people he has advocated for over the years, and announce the launch of “American Dreamers,” a new website featuring DREAMers whose stories he has told on the floor of the Senate. His remarks will be followed by a panel where DREAMers will discuss what the president’s announcement means for them and what work still needs to be done.

July 24, 2012, 12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

WATCH this event via live video on our website
*Video available LIVE and after the event has occurred.


July 19, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Policing the Borders of Birthright Citizenship: Some Thoughts on the New (and Old) Restrictionism by Rachel E. Rosenbloom


Policing the Borders of Birthright Citizenship: Some Thoughts on the New (and Old) Restrictionism by Rachel E. Rosenbloom Northeastern University - School of Law,  Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 51, pp. 311-330, 2012.

Abstract: Why has the issue of birthright citizenship gained such prominence in recent years among immigration restrictionists? Conventional wisdom holds that opposition to birthright citizenship is a new phenomenon spurred on by two factors: unprecedented levels of unauthorized immigration and the rise of the welfare state. Yet challenges to the legitimacy of birthright citizenship have in fact arisen at various points since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. Examining earlier debates about birthright citizenship, including the largely overlooked history of citizenship restrictionism in the 1920s, I argue that current restrictionist efforts fall into a familiar pattern in which fears about the integrity of America’s borders, articulated in the language of crisis and invasion, find an outlet in efforts to police the borders of citizenship. Across different historical eras, arguments against birthright citizenship have consistently emphasized the notion that the Citizenship Clause undermines the immigration policies of the day, from Chinese exclusion in the 1890s to racial restrictions on naturalization in the 1920s to securing the U.S.-Mexico border today. I argue that defenders of birthright citizenship would do well to engage critically with the tensions that current opponents of birthright citizenship identify, rather than shying away from them. To the extent that there are tensions between the closed borders of immigration law and the open borders of birthright citizenship, such tensions have been greatly exacerbated by changes in immigration law and policy over the past several decades that, while ostensibly aimed at reducing unauthorized immigration, have had the effect of greatly increasing the number of mixed-status families. These tensions should be resolved, I argue, not by altering the Fourteenth Amendment but instead by addressing the unintended consequences of restrictive immigration laws and heightened border enforcement.


July 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Deportation of Jews from France

From the Associated Press:

They were among France's darkest days: Police dragged more than 13,000 Jews from their homes, confined them in a Paris cycling stadium with little food or water, and then deported them to their deaths in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. But even in France, one of the most brazen collaborations between authorities and the Nazis during World War II is unknown to many in the younger generation.

Police are hoping to change that, opening up their archives on France's biggest single deportation of French Jews for the first time to the public on Thursday.

The often chilling records are being exhibited in the Paris Jewish district's City Hall to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the two-day "Vel d'Hiv" roundup, named for the Velodrome d'Hiver, or Winter Velodrome. Many thousands were rounded up on July 16 and 17, 1942, then holed up in miserable conditions in the stadium, just a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower, before being bused to the French camp at Drancy and then taken by train to Auschwitz.

France struggled for years to come to terms with the extent of its wartime collaboration with the Nazis, but over the decades officials have been showing greater willingness to acknowledge the shameful period in its history. Read more....


July 18, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Offenders in the Federal Criminal Justice System

From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

New Report: Immigration Offenders In The Federal Justice System, 2010
by Mark Motivans, Ph.D.

Presents data on criminal and civil immigration violations handled by the federal justice system over the last decade. The report examines the various ways immigration violator cases are processed based on the type of offense, the suspect's prior record, and the district in which the suspect is apprehended. Tables describe the demographic characteristics of criminal immigration offenders, adjudication and sentencing outcomes, and the number of criminal immigration offenders returning to federal prison within 3 years of release from previous federal imprisonment. Data in the report come from the Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP) and from documentation published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

Highlights include the following:

*Apprehensions for immigration violations peaked at 1.8 million in 2000 but dropped to 516,992 in 2010—the lowest level since 1972.
*The most common immigration offense charged in U.S. district court in 2010 was illegal reentry (81%), followed by alien smuggling (12%), misuse of visas (6%) and illegal entry (1%).
*Eighty-one percent of immigration defendants who were convicted in U. S. district court received a prison sentence in 2010. The median prison term imposed was 15 months. Click here for more information.


July 18, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Texas Service Center Fall Conference


The Texas Service Center (TSC) invites all immigration stakeholders to attend the Asylum and Refugee Conference on Thursday, September 13, 2012.  The TSC is partnering with the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) to provide an opportunity to meet staff and share information on asylum- and refugee-related topics through presentation and open dialogue.  The conference will include a panel discussion with representatives from the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations (RAIO) and Service Center Operations (SCOPS) directorates, the director of the National Visa Center (tentative), as well as TSC and NSC employees.  Immigration Services Officers will also be available in the afternoon to answer your case-specific questions.  Those who RSVP for this engagement will receive a finalized agenda as the date of the conference approaches. 

For those interested, the TSC will also schedule tours of the Lockbox facility in Lewisville; our records facility at 4141 St. Augustine Road in Mesquite; or our adjudications offices at 8001 North Stemmons Freeway in Dallas on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 12.  Transportation will not be provided.  If you would like to tour one of these facilities, RSVP with your name and office information to no later than September 6, 2012 indicating the preferred location and time of your tour.

Agenda Items:  Please submit agenda items to no later than August 24, 2012.

RSVP:  If you would like to take part in this conference, please provide your full name and the office or organization you represent to Jennifer Kuylen at no later than September 6, 2012.  Registration will be limited to 200 attendees.  If more than 200 responses are received, your name will be placed on a waiting list, and you will be contacted as space becomes available.

Also, as indicated in the “Save the Date” announcement sent earlier this year, you will have the option of purchasing a catered lunch.  The cost of lunch will be approximately $7 to $10 and will consist of either barbecue or Tex-Mex (depending on the preference of the majority of respondents).  Also RSVP if you plan to purchase lunch, and indicate your preference.

We look forward to engaging with you!


July 18, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Penn State Law School's Center for Immigrants’ Rights provides tools to help immigrant survivors of domestic violence

Advocates and attorneys who work with victims of domestic violence need to understand the dynamics of power and control and how they affect the safety of their clients. This understanding is especially important in working with non-citizen victims who often face additional hurdles compared to American citizens.

The Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights has published “Immigration Relief for Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse,” a toolkit to help practitioners in representing immigrant victims of domestic abuse. Prepared for the Centre County Women’s Resource Center’s Civil Legal Representation Project (CLRP), the division of the Centre County Women’s Resource Center (CCWRC) that provides legal advice and representation to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law matters, the toolkit outlines remedies available specifically for non-citizen victims.

Click here for details.

The toolkit includes information about the following remedies: the U visa, T visa, VAWA self-petition, VAWA cancellation of removal, and prosecutorial discretion. Specifically, it contains an analysis of the substantive materials on these subjects, including relevant statutes, regulations, agency memoranda, and secondary sources.

On September 7, 2012, the Center for Immigrants’ Rights and CLRP will be co-sponsoring “Immigration Remedies for Victims of Domestic Abuse,” an in depth Continuing Legal Education program featuring immigration and domestic violence experts about the laws relating to U visa, T visa, and VAWA protections. The program will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information on the program, visit


July 18, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigrants in Risky Occupations by Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny Agnes

Immigrants in Risky Occupations by Pia M. Orrenius (Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas) and Madeline Zavodny Agnes (Scott College; Institute for the Study of Labor)

ABSTRACT:  This chapter reviews the economics literature on immigrant-native differentials in occupational risk. It begins by briefly explaining the theory of compensating wage differentials. It then provides a more detailed discussion of the empirical evidence on the subject, which reaches several conclusions. First, immigrants are overrepresented in occupations and industries with higher injury and fatality rates. Second, immigrants have higher work-related injury and fatality rates in some advanced economies, but not all. Finally, most, but not all, immigrants appear to earn risk premiums similar to natives for working in risky jobs. The chapter closes with a discussion of areas where additional research is needed.


July 18, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)