August 25, 2012
Mitt Romney’s birther "joke"
Yesterday, Mitt Romney on the campaign trail in Michigan joked that, unlike the President, nobody ever asked to see his birth cetificate. Was it just a joke to lighten the mood? Or, alternatively, an attempt by Mitt to tap into support among the birther fringe of the Republican Party? For commentary from U.S. News, click here.
August 24, 2012
Arpaio will Speak at Zoo near Republican Convention
This seems appropriate.
From the Phoenix NewTimes:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio will be in Tampa next week during the Republican National Convention.
He's not actually part of the convention, though -- he'll be giving a speech to an audience of people and exotic animals at a zoo about seven miles from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the actual GOP heavyweights will be speaking.
Yep, according to an announcement from the Arizona Republican Party, Arpaio will be addressing the zoo animals, zookeepers, shit-shovelers, and RNC delegates from the west at an "invitation-only" event at the Lowry Park Zoo on August 30. Read more...
Complaint in Kris Kobach's Latest Immigration Lawsuit and Challenge to Obama Administration
Photo courtesy of KrisKobach.org
Bill Hing reported earlier on ImmigrationProf about Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach filing suit in federal court in the Northern District of Texas on behalf of a group of Immigration and Custom Enforcement Officers challenging the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Here is the Complaint, Download DACA Complaint, which alleges that the program violates federal immigration and other laws and intrudes on the power of Congress (and thus violates the constitutional separation of powers).
In reporting on the lawsuit, the Houston Chronicle reports that "Kobach . . . was a delegate to the platform committee for next week's Republican National Convention." He apparently has been successful in convincing the GOP to adopt a tough-on-immigration plank. Immigration Impact, which reports that the lawsuit is being funded by the restrictionist group Numbers USA, opines that the suit is likely to fail as a legal matter, which seems right to me.
A statement released by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka AFL-CIO emphasizes that "The AFL-CIO strongly disagrees with the contention of a group of 10 immigration agents that upholding President Obama’s policy toward young, aspiring U.S. citizens who arrived in this country as children is in any way in conflict with the constitution or federal law. These agents are working with some of the most anti-immigrant forces in the country, forces that have long sowed division and destruction." (emphasis added).
Immigration Article of the Day: Reconceptualizing Asian Pacific American Identity at the Margins by Julian Lim
Reconceptualizing Asian Pacific American Identity at the Margins by Julian Lim, Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law, UC Irvine Law Review
Abstract: This forthcoming essay draws upon recent understandings of transnational migration to reconceptualize the boundaries of the Asian Pacific American “community” and the role of immigration law in constructing APA identity. The essay shifts our focus from California and the Pacific coast to the U.S.-Mexico border, showing how Chinese immigrants came to the border and established new social relations with Mexicans and African Americans in ways that do not easily fit a white/Other racial binary model. Introducing a transnational and multiracial framework into the well-established body of literature concerning APA identity and the law, I argue that adopting different models of migration opens up new ways of understanding immigrant incorporation in the United States and, in turn, a broader conceptualization of APA identity. Reminding Asian Pacific Americans of the origins of a pan-Asian American political identity, rooted in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and 1970s, I call attention to the potential power of reframing APA identity as a political identity again, but one defined now by immigrant struggles that cross racial lines. Rather than defining APA identity based on anti-Asian discrimination, I ask what APA identity might look like if we based it on immigration law, and forged connections with other immigrant minorities such as Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants.
August 23, 2012
Kobach and ICE Agents Sue DHS Over DACA and Morton Memo
This is a real stunt that hopefully will be thrown out of court.
From Huffington Post:
Arizona immigration law author and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is representing 10 immigration agents in a lawsuit filed Thursday against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, for policies they say prevent them from doing their job of defending the Constitution.
"They're being ordered by their federal-appointee superiors to break federal law, or if they don't break federal law, according to their orders they will be disciplined," Kobach said Thursday on a call with reporters. "This is an absolutely breath-taking assertion of authority and an abuse of authority."
Numbers USA, a group that advocates for reduction of immigration, is funding the lawsuit on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents opposed to current policy. The suit goes after two key Obama policies on immigration: prosecutorial discretion to focus on criminals and repeat offenders, as well as deferred action for undocumented young people.
Kobach, who has advised presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on immigration issues, said that the campaign was aware of the lawsuit and had not expressed concerns with the plan.
ICE announced in August 2011 it would stop deporting some "low priority" undocumented immigrants, such as young people or those with strong ties to the U.S. On June 15, 2012, the administration took that a step further for young people. Now, under deferred action, many will be granted work authorization and two years reprieve from deportation concerns. Read more....
ICE Official’s Suit Is Littered With Allegations of His Superior’s ‘Sexually Offensive Behavior’ and ‘Frat House-Type’ Antics
Above the Law has reported on a racy employment lawsuit involving high level officials in Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Click here for the complaint in Hayes v. Napolitano. "James T. Hayes Jr., a top-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, is suing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security because he claims that ICE’s chief of staff, Suzanne Barr, created a hostile working environment — specifically, `a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees.'”
For a Fox News report on the allegations, click here.
Kirk Semple of the N.Y. Times has tied this lawsuit into a larger sense of "unrest" in the agency in part stemming from recent immigration policy changes adopted by the Obama administration.
100 Years Of Immigrants In America, In Two Graphs
NPR offers insights on "100 Years Of Immigrants In America, In Two Graphs." The bottom line -- "Immigrants make up roughly the same share of the U.S. population today as they did a century ago," but from different continents.
Immigration Article of the Day: 'Brisas Del Mar': Judicial and Political Outcomes of the Cuban Rafter Crisis in Guantánamo by Christina M. Frohock
'Brisas Del Mar': Judicial and Political Outcomes of the Cuban Rafter Crisis in Guantánamo by Christina M. Frohock University of Miami - School of Law 2012 Harvard Latino Law Review, Vol. 15, pp. 39-83, 2012
Abstract: This Article casts a current eye on events in Guantánamo before September 11, 2001, exploring two contrasting outcomes of the U.S. government’s housing of more than 33,000 Cuban rafters intercepted at sea in August 1994. One outcome arose in the judicial sphere. This discussion focuses on the lawsuit the Cuban rafters filed while in Guantánamo, identifying themselves as refugees and seeking constitutional due process rights. In Cuban American Bar Association, Inc. v. Christopher, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied relief to the “migrants” in “safe haven.” Yet in post-9/11 decisions, including Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court granted constitutional privileges to another group in Guantánamo: enemy combatants seeking habeas corpus rights. A different outcome arose in the political sphere. This discussion focuses on the Cuban refugees’ desperate departures from their homeland and difficult lives in Guantánamo camps. Newly revealed documents from the CABA litigation, including thousands of handwritten requests for counsel, show the refugees’ frustration and despair in their own words. After a year in Guantánamo camps, they finally received humanitarian parole. This Article argues that the outcome in each sphere was appropriate given how each depicted the facts, with migrants denied constitutional rights and refugees granted entry into the United States.
August 22, 2012
Administrative Comment Period on DACA Ends Mid-SeptemberDACA is open for a comment period until mid-Sept. We should keep this is mind for some of those things on which we think there needs to be advocacy or clarity.
DHS Notice on DACA and Form I-821D
[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 159 (Thursday, August 16, 2012)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20247]
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
[OMB Control Number 1615-NEW]
Agency Information Collection Activities: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Form I-821D, New Information Collection; Emergency Submission to the Office of Management and Budget; Comment Request
ACTION: 30-Day Notice of Information Collection Under Review.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), submitted the following emergency information collection request, utilizing emergency review procedures, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. 35). The purpose of this notice is to allow 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until September 17, 2012. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10 and 5 CFR 1320.13.
Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to DHS, and to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, USCIS Desk Officer. Comments may be submitted to: USCIS, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2020. Comments may also be submitted to DHS via email at USCISFRComment@dhs.gov or via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.Regulations.gov under e-Docket ID number USCIS-2012-0012, and to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via facsimile at 202-395-5806 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions received must include the agency name and e-Docket ID. When submitting comments by email please make sure to add ``Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, 1615-NEW'' in the subject box.
Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.Regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make to DHS. DHS may withhold information provided in comments for public viewing that it determines may impact the privacy of an individual or is offensive. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.Regulations.gov.
Note: The address listed in this notice should only be used to submit comments concerning this information collection. Please do not submit requests for individual case status inquiries to this address. If you are seeking information about the status of your individual case, please check ``My Case Status'' online at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard.do, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:
(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.
Overview of This Information Collection
(1) Type of Information Collection: New information collection.
(2) Title of the Form/Collection: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
(3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department of Homeland Security sponsoring the collection: Form I-821D, USCIS.
(4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. The information collected on this form is used by USCIS to determine eligibility of certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children and meet the following guidelines to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals:
1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
These individuals will be considered for relief from removal from the United States or from being placed into removal proceedings as part of the deferred action for childhood arrivals process. Those who submit requests with USCIS and demonstrate that they meet the threshold guidelines may have removal action in their case deferred for a period of two years, subject to renewal (if not terminated), based on an individualized, case by case assessment of the individual's equities. Only those individuals who can demonstrate, through verifiable documentation, that they meet the threshold guidelines will be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals, except in exceptional circumstances.
(5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 1,041,300 responses at 2 hours and 45 minutes (2.75 hours) per response.
(6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: 2,863,575 annual burden hours.
If you need a copy of the information collection instrument, or additional information, please visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.Regulations.gov. We may also be contacted at USCIS, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2020, telephone number 202-272-1740.
Dated: August 14, 2012.
Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy,
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2012-20247 Filed 8-14-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
U Visa 10K Cap ReachedFrom USCIS
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) yesterday marked a significant milestone in its efforts to provide relief to victims of crimes by approving the statutory maximum 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status, also referred to as the U-visa. This is the third straight year USCIS has reached the statutory maximum since it began issuing U-visas in 2008.
Each year, 10,000 U-visas are available for victims of crime who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes. A U-visa petition requires law enforcement certification of assistance in the investigation or prosecution of crimes.
“The U-visa is an important tool aiding law enforcement to bring criminals to justice,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “At the same time, we are able to provide immigration protection to victims of crime and their families. Both benefits are in the interest of the public we serve.”
In recent years, USCIS has greatly expanded its public education and outreach effort through partnerships with law enforcement agencies and service providers. As part of this effort, USCIS officers have traveled to more than 40 cities, including Denver, New York City, Newark, and San Antonio, to train federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and immigrant-serving organizations on immigration protections available to individuals who are victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes.
The program was created by Congress to strengthen the law enforcement community’s ability to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes while at the same time offering protection to victims. More than 61,000 victims and their family members have received U-visas since the implementation of this program in 2008.
USCIS will continue to accept new petitions as they are received until the end of the current fiscal year, and will resume issuing U-visas on Oct. 1, 2012, the first day of fiscal year 2013 when new visas are available.
Rich Chinese seeking overseas residency
The BBC reports on something that many had already observed -- that wealthy Chinese nationals are seeking to invest and establish legal immigration status in nations around the world, including the United States.
August 21, 2012
DACA Practice Advisory
From the Legal Action Center:
Updated Practice Advisory on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Washington, D.C.— The Legal Action Center (LAC) released an updated version of the Practice Advisory, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which includes links to the application forms and updated information about the application process This Practice Advisory analyzes DHS guidance regarding the eligibility criteria and application process for the Obama administration’s initiative to grant deferred action to certain individuals who came to the United States as children. It also offers strategic advice for attorneys representing individuals who may qualify for deferred action for childhood arrivals. The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
Enforcement Policy Effects on Children, Families, and Communities
From the Center for American Progress:
How Today’s Immigration Enforcement Policies Impact Children, Families, and Communities
By Joanna Dreby
What happens to children when their parents are deported? How do these deportations, now more numerous than ever, affect families and the communities in which they live?
We argue in this report that deportations break families up and have a wider effect on the community as a whole, not just the individual and the family involved.
Deportations leave children in foster care and create a large number of single mothers struggling to make ends meet. But even families who do not directly experience the detention or deportation of a loved one feel its effects: children and parents live in constant fear of separation, children routinely conflate the police with immigration officials and begin to associate all immigrants with illegal status, regardless of their own identity or legal status.
Read more and download this report here.
Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration, Asylum, and Citizenship: A More Holistic Approach by Julian Lim
Immigration, Asylum, and Citizenship: A More Holistic Approach by Julian Lim Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law
Abstract: Despite obvious overlaps between immigration law, asylum law, and citizenship, legal scholars have tended to disaggregate them, studying them in isolation. This Article brings asylum law in closer conversation with both immigration law and citizenship, showing how immigration and asylum work dynamically to construct second-class citizenship both in the past and the present. To do this, the Article uses a historical case study involving 522 Chinese immigrants in northern Mexico who in 1917 gained entry into the United States despite the immigration restrictions of the U.S.’ Chinese Exclusion Act, and in 1921 were granted the right to remain in the country as permanent legal residents. Providing an historical lens through which to juxtapose immigration, asylum, and citizenship, the Article thus advances a more holistic approach to these bodies of law and society in the supposedly “post-racial” United States. It shows how the immigration-asylum dynamic illuminated through the case of Pershing’s Chinese refugees continues to engage race to define who belongs in the nation and how in the twenty first century.
August 20, 2012
Eleventh Circuit Strikes Down Portions of Alabama and Georgia Immigration Enforcement Laws
Immigration Impact reports that, in a series of decisions issued Monday afternoon, a federal appeals court in Atlanta struck down major portions of controversial immigration laws passed by Alabama and Georgia—including a provision requiring public school officials to determine the immigration status of newly enrolling students. These are the first major decisions based on the Supreme Court’s opinion in the challenge to Arizona SB 1070. The rulings can be found here, here, and here.
In summary, the Eleventh Circuit panel (Judges Wilson (author of the three opinions) and Martin, District Judge Richard Voorhees (W.D.N.C.), sitting by designation), applying the Supreme Court's decision in Arizona v. United States, struck down as preempted a number of provisions of the Alabama and Georgia immigration enforcement laws and upheld provisions in both laws that were similar to Section 2(B) of Arizona's S.B. 1070, which require police officers to verify the immigration status of persons who they come into lawful contact with and have a reasonable suspicion of believing are undocumented. The Eleventh Circuit ruled that Section 28 of H.B. 56, which required school districts to collect data on undocumented and ESL students, violated the Equal Protection Clause.
UPDATE (August 24): For analysis of the rulings on the ACS blog by Jack Chin and Marc Miller, click here.
Hells Angels Sue over Visa Denials
The BLT: Blog of Legal Times reports that the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, in a lawsuit filed last week, challenged policies that bar foreign members from traveling to the United States. Hells Angels describes itself as a club for motorcycle enthusiasts, but it is classified as a criminal organization by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Angel claims that the "known criminal organization" designation is not warranted and that federal officials have a blanket policy of denying visas to foreign members that conflicts with federal immigration laws. The legal claim is that the Immigration & Nationality Act requires individual-specific visa decisions.
Hells Angels is being represented by Margaret Wong of Margaret Wong & Associates in Cleveland, Ohio, and Matthew Robinson of Robinson & Brandt in Covington, Ky. Although press reports previously suggested that the case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Judge Gladys Kessler has the case. Download HAMC Docket Report
Hispanics Now Largest Minority Group on Four-Year College Campuses: One-in-Four Public Elementary School Students is Hispanic
Hispanics now are the largest minority group on the nation's four-year college campuses, according to an analysis of newly available U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. For the first time, the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college exceeded 2 million and reached a record 16.5% share of all college enrollments. Hispanics are the largest minority group on the nation's college campuses----four-year and two-year combined----a milestone first achieved in 2010.
Post-Trial Briefs in Melendres v. Arpaio
A few weeks ago, the trial in Melendres v. Arpaio concluded. In that case, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (Arizona) stood accused of engaging in a pattern and practice of racial discrimination against Latinos. It was a bench trial. The parties' post-trial briefs are below:
A Review of A Quiet Victory for Latino Rights: FDR and the Controversy over “Whiteness” by Patrick D. Lukens
In April, ImmigrationProf provided information about A Quiet Victory for Latino Rights: FDR and the Controversy over “Whiteness” by Patrick D. Lukens (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012). Here is a review of the book in the Journal of American History. Here is another by Professor Michael Olivas (Houston).
Some Notes on The Chinatown War
A few weeks ago, ImmigrationProf spotlighted Scott Zesch's new book, The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871 (Oxford University Press, 2012). I just finished reading the book, which was engaging, accessible, and incredibly interesting.
The book offers a detailed historical account into a little-known event in Los Angeles history. In October 1871, a turf war involving three Chinese gangs exploded into a riot that engulfed the small but growing town of Los Angeles. A large mob of white Angelenos, spurred by racial hatred, rampaged through the city and lynched some 18 Chinese immigrants -- almost all of them innocent of any crimes -- before order was restored. The nascent Los Angeles Police Department, which at the time included a good percentage of officers of Mexican ancestry, was later criticized for not doing enough to stem the violence.
Besides learning about some little known history, I learned soem fascinating factoids about my hometown:
1. Part of what is now Los Angeles Street in downtown Los Angeles was onced known as "Calle de los Negroes" or "N----r Alley." It was a place where poor and working class Mexicans, African Americans, and Chinese lived -- often in squalor.
2. Perhaps as many as half of those involved in the killing of Chinese immigrants were of Mexican ancestry.
3. Some of the lynchings occurred in the area of downtown Los Angeles where the Los Angeles Mall and the federal courthouse now stand. This is a short distance from Olvera Street (El Pueblo Histroric Monument).
More generally, one passage from the book drove home one of the lessons of the massacre, which, in my view, continues to be relevant today:
"Perhaps it is most realistic, if most disturbing, to view the massacre as the natural result of a collapse of the communal forces that usually operate to keep the sinister, sadistic side of human nature in check. For nearly three years, Angelenos had ignored or laughed off the escalating attacks on the Chinese, doing littlle to curb them. Influential pundits such as the editors of the Los Angeles News had pronounced the Chinese less than human. Like the white man who, without provocation, had `hit a Chinaman on the head' three months earlier, the rioters of October 24, 1871, apparently tortured and murdered random Chinese victims because they wanted to. They enjoyed it and thought it was fun. And, knowing that their ranks were too large for many to be apprehended, and that Angelenos did not seem concerned about protecting these inconseqwuential foreigners anyway, they were betting they could get away with it." (p. 178) (footnote omitted).