Saturday, October 13, 2012
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is pushing a plan to create an official city photo identification card that could double as a prepaid ATM card and help immigrants get access to banking services.
The initiative could reduce crime because fewer people would have to carry cash, but critics say it's another ill-advised City Hall effort to accommodate undocumented immigrants.
The idea for the city ID card originated in his office, the mayor said, as part of previous efforts to help immigrants open bank accounts so they wouldn't become targets of crime.
Councilman Richard Alarcon recently introduced a more limited proposal to create a new library card that could also serve as a debit card. But Villaraigosa said he wants to go farther and have the city begin offering full-fledged photo IDs.
A handful of cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, issue identification cards to anyone who can prove residency, regardless of immigration status. Villaraigosa said it's time that Los Angeles — home to an estimated 4.3 million immigrants — joined them. Read more...
Friday, October 12, 2012
From Immigration Impact: Activists in Kansas are mounting a campaign to recall the state’s Secretary of State and immigration restrictionist Kris ("Deporter in Chief") Kobach, who is frequently featured on ImmigrationProf. According to the Associated Press, there is a movement to collect signatures to recall him. For months, several groups have held rallies and press conferences, accusing Kobach of spending too much time working on his extracurricular activities – including promoting the anti-immigrant laws he authored in other states and attending immigration-related meetings – instead of serving the people of Kansas.
From the Wall Street Journal today:
About 180,000 young undocumented immigrants have applied for a two-year reprieve from deportation under a new immigration program, and 4,591 cases have been approved, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday.
Here's the link to the full article.
The Obama administration declared the ultra-violent street gang MS-13 to be an international criminal group on Thursday, an unprecedented crackdown targeting the finances of the sprawling U.S. and Central American gang infamous for hacking and stabbing victims with machetes.
The Treasury Department formally designated MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational criminal organization. The aim is to freeze it out of the U.S. financial system and seize what are estimated to be millions of dollars in criminal profits from drug and human smuggling and other crimes committed in this country.
The gang was founded by immigrants fleeing El Salvador's civil war more than two decades ago. Its founders took lessons learned from that brutal conflict to the streets of Los Angeles and built a reputation as one of the most ruthless and sophisticated street gangs, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jason Shatarsky. Read more....
The news reports on this action taken by the Obama administration fail to point out that a major reason that MS-13 spread to Central America was because the U.S. deported MS-13 members back to places like El Salvador and Guatemala. Read here.
We are very pleased to welcome Professor Rose Cuison Villazor to the ImmigrationProf blog. An accomplished and influential immigration and civil rights scholar, Rose joined the UC Davis faculty in 2012 from the Maurice A. Deane Law School at Hofstra University. She has also taught at Columbia Law School and the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Professor Villazor teaches and writes in the areas of property law, immigration law, race, and citizenship. Her scholarship includes, “The Other Loving: Uncovering the Federal Regulation of Interracial Marriages,” in the New York University Law Review (2011), “Rediscovering Oyama v. California: At the Intersection of Property, Race and Citizenship,” in the Washington University Law Review (2010), and "Blood Quantum Land Laws: The Race versus Political Identity Dilemma," in the California Law Review (2008). She has also been published in the Southern California Law Review, UC Davis Law Review and Southern Methodist University Law Review.
Rose is co-editor of a book titled Loving v. Virginia in a `Post-Racial' World: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage published by Cambridge University Press.
Welcome Rose! We look forward to your energy, enthusiasm, and intellect.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
From the Bookshelves: THE IMMIGRANT EXODUS: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent by Vivek Wadhwa
Many of the United States’ most innovative entrepreneurs have been immigrants, from Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Pfizer to Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Elon Musk. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies and one-quarter of all new small businesses were founded by immigrants, generating trillions of dollars annually, employing millions of workers, and helping establish the United States as the most entrepreneurial, technologically advanced society on earth.
Now, Vivek Wadhwa, an immigrant tech entrepreneur turned academic with appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity Universities, draws on his new Kauffman Foundation research to show that the United States is in the midst of an unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded start-ups. He argues that increased competition from countries like China and India and US immigration policies are leaving some of the most educated and talented entrepreneurial immigrants with no choice but to take their innovation elsewhere. The consequences to our economy are dire; our loss will be the gain of our global competitors.
Here is Ted Alden's perspective on the book.
Immigration guru (and lawyer) Dan Kowalski criticizes the current state of immigration law and enforcement in these twin pieces on very different immigration topics, one on the deadly consequences of border enforcement and the other on the law's preference for immigrant strippers (Bettina May, in particular) over DREAMers.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:00am-6:30pm
Location: UC San Diego, Institute of the Americas Complex, Weaver Center
This conference is organized to recognize Wayne Cornelius for being awarded the Aguila Azteca, the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government. It is an informal gathering of friends, mentors, students and scholars who have been marked by the contributions of his work. There is no cost of admission. The event is open to the public.
For almost four decades Wayne's scholarship has decisively impacted the study of the politics of development, migration, democratization, the rule of law and social change in Mexico. He has also been a builder of institutions to facilitate dialogue, public policy engagement and academic exchange. This has deservedly led to his award of the Aguila Azteca, the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government.
The conference is organized around work in progress, personal reflections and roundtable discussions, rather than a formal format of written papers and assigned discussants. It is an opportunity to share with Wayne some of our work and reflections, and to collectively critique and learn from each other.
There is no cost of admission. Event is open to the public. To register, please click here.
William Fisher has an very interesting piece in Prism entitled "Facts You Should Know About Department of Homeland Security." It talks critically of the DHS, which now includes the major immigration enforcement functions of the federal government. After you read the article ask yourself this: do you feel safer now?
From Centro Presente:
Members of Rude Mechanical Orchestra (rudemechanicalorchestra.org) joined a community standards picket at Diva Restaurant in Davis Sq. on Friday, Oct. 5 before the Honk! Festival.
The owner of Diva restaurant in Davis Sq. (Somerville, Massachusetts) has been treating its employees unfairly.
The Somerville-based immigrant rights group, Centro Presente has launched a campaign to support workers at Diva and other restaurants managed by the One World Cuisine restaurant group. One World Cuisine is owned by Amrik Pabla.
Former One World Cuisine workers (including at Diva) are victims of wage theft. They report having worked more than 70 hour weeks, but being paid under the minimum wage and not paid overtime. Some workers report not being paid at all.
With support from Centro Presente, the workers have been meeting to plan strategies to recover their wages, to learn about their rights and to educate the public about the exploitation of immigrant labor.
Call Amrik Pabla at (617) 262-4770 and ask him to pay the workers what they are owed.
For more information, call Centro Presente at (617) 629-4731. Centro Presente is a state-wide Latino organization that advocates for immigrant rights and for economic and social justice.
In fact, Mitt Romney has no plan to fix our broken immigration system. During the primaries Romney played to the right by embracing the anti-immigrant Restrictionist fringe. He welcomed the endorsement of nativist lawyer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, whose primary claim to fame is the authorship of the draconian Arizona immigration law, the guts of which were thrown out by the Supreme Court earlier this year. Kobach’s influence on Romney was obvious during the primaries when Romney proudly endorsed "self-deportation," a mean spirited policy proposal (and a Kobach idea) that would effectively target immigrant families, particularly Latino families, by making their lives so unbearable that they flee the U.S. Yet when it comes to building a safe, orderly and fair immigration system designed to secure America's borders, keep American families safe and together, and meet the needs of American business, Romney's message was—and remains—woefully devoid of substance.
. . .
When it comes to fashioning a comprehensive solution to America’s broken immigration system over the next four years neither President Obama nor a President Romney can go it alone. Real reform will require that Congress roll up their sleeves, show political courage, and work with the White House to create an immigration policy that maintains the integrity of the borders, preserves American families, and ensures American businesses have the tools they need to compete in the global economy.
Unfortunately, Mitt Romney offers few policy specifics which will achieve that goal. Read more...
Pardon the back to back to emails, but proud to announce the release of What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers,
It's an important pamphlet I co-wrote with Dr. Hussein Rashid (Hofstra), Dr. Charles Haynes (First Amendment Center), and the invaluable input, suggestions, edits and revisions from numerous scholars, experts and faith leaders. It's produced by the First Amendment Center and Interfaith Alliance.
This new document, What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers, is an attempt to provide accurate information, clear misconceptions and delve into the law of religious freedom, the history of American Muslims in the United States, explain misunderstood terms and practices, including Jihad and Shariah, and show how the "creeping Shariah threat" is bogus.
It's a short, 9 page document meant for broad, diverse audiences. It's been endorsed and co-sponsored by a fantastic coalition of the willing including the following groups:
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Rabbis for Human Rights
- Sikh Coalition
- New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
- African American Ministers Leadership Council
- ING and others
Here's the link.
If you would like copies for your communities, congregation, etc please contact: Interfaith Alliance: Shannon Craig Straw, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202/265-3000
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant wants to take President Obama to court. And he’s going to do it in conjunction with the help of noted anti-immigrant policy architect and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Bryant announced today that he, on behalf of his state, is joining Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees who are challenging the Obama administration’s a two-year deportation protection for DREAMers.
“States must protect their borders while the federal government continues to ignore this growing problem,” Gov. Bryant said in a statement. “I believe this action by the Obama administration is unconstitutional and circumvents Congress’s authority.”
The initial lawsuit, filed in federal court by ten ICE officers who are represented by Kobach, alleges that the directive issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano forces the agents to break the law by prohibiting them from carrying out an oath to uphold federal immigration laws. At the heart of the lawsuit is a claim that the directive President Obama announced August 15, which allows undocumented youth who clear a host of hurdles to apply for a two-year protection from deportation as well as work eligibility, violates the Constitution. Read more...
Thomas Goldstein of Goldstein and Goldstein argued the case for Adrian Moncrieffe. Pratik Shah, Assistant to the Solicitor General, argued the case for the United States.
During the argument, the Justices seemed taken aback by the fact that a legal immigrant from Jamaica who had lived in the United States for more than 25 years (and had a family with U.S. citizen children) faced possible mandatory removal (without eligibility for any relief) based on a state marijuana conviction based on what appeared to be mere possession of a few grams of marijuana -- a conviction that the U.S. government claimed was an "aggravated felony."
During the arguments, both advocates were peppered with questions. It seemed to me that the Justices, including Chief Justice Roberts, Kennedy, and perhaps even Scalia (as well as Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) were not particularly sympathetic to the U.S. government's position. Justices Thomas and Alito did not ask any questions (unless one equates the reference of one of the advocates to a Justice Thomas dissent as a question by him). I suspect that those two Justices support affirmance of the removal order.
The argument focused initially on documenting precisely how much marijuana was at issue in the state criminal prosecution, with the Justices seemingly satisfied that only a few grams of marijuana were at issue. In response to questioning, Thomas Goldstein admitted that he had been unable to find statistics on how many convictions there were like Moncrieffe's under the Georgia statute under which he was charged. Recall that Moncrieffe was charged under a broad Georgia law for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a law that criminalizes the social sharing of small amounts of marijuana as well as the distribution of larger amounts. As a first time offender, Moncrieffe pleaded guilty and completed probation without incident.
Much of the argument focused on the nuances of the criminal removal provisions of the U.S. immigration laws. The Justices semed to come to understand that, if Moncrieffe's conviction under the Georgia law constituted an "aggravated felony" under the Immigration and Nationality Act, he would be subject to mandatory removal and would be ineligible for any relief from removal; if the conviction were found not to be an "aggravated felony," he would still be subject to removal but could seek a form of relief from removal known as "cancellation of removal."
In analyzing whether convictions under the Georgia law were aggravated felonies, the Justices asked a number of questions about Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder. In that 2010 decision, the Court rejected the U.S. government’s effort to legal immigrant with a relatively minor drug conviction, a misdemeanor conviction under Texas law for possession of one tablet of an antianxiety medication. It was a second offense – the first was for a misdemeanor marijuana possession. The U.S. government treated the state misdemeanor conviction as an aggravated felony and sought to deport a lawful permanent resident from Mexico as an “aggravated felon.” The Court rejected the conclusion that the minor drug conviction constituted an “aggravated felony” and followed what is known as the categorical approach, requiring that the conviction itself must include each of the findings necessary to render the conviction a felony under the federal Controlled Substances Act. In so holding, Justice Stevens wrote that
"We do not usually think of a 10-day sentence for the unauthorized possession of a trivial amount of a prescription drug as an `aggravated felony.' A `felony,' we have come to understand, is a `serious crime usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death.'"
After all is said and done, my firm sense is that the case boils down to this for the Justices -- the possible injustice of subjecting a long-term resident of the United States to removal because of one conviction for possession of a very small amout of marijuana.
The CrImmigration blog has an online symposium on Moncrieffe v. Holder, which is being argued in the U.S. Suprme Court later this morning. In the moderator's words, "Collectively, the symposium’s contributors represent the breadth of legal advocacy—direct representation, impact litigation, and academic inquiry—and bring to bear the varied experiences of immigration lawyers throughout the country."
The political world is buzzing about the upcoming presidential elections. Campaigns to register voters and involve the American public in this democratic process are in full force. Although many argue that voting is the essence of being an American citizen, these elections may be, ironically enough, most important for those that cannot vote: the undocumented youth.
Currently, undocumented youth are benefiting from the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program allows them access to work authorization and receive deferred deportation. Because DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, the president can decide to stop the program as he/she wishes. President Obama has had a commitment to undocumented youth by supporting legislation such as the more permanent DREAM Act and enacting DACA. However, Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s position remains vague. Many DACA applicants fear that if Romney becomes president, he might end the program.
Thus, the next few weeks before the elections are a calm before the storm. The initial excitement from DACA’s introduction has winded down, and now, applicants are waiting anxiously to see who will win the presidency because DACA’s survival is in the president’s hands. The result will either cause thousands of undocumented youth to quickly turn their application in before Romney takes office in January, or take their time gathering their supporting evidence as Obama commences his second term. This irony highlights the unique and sensitive situation these undocumented youth are in. The lines of citizenship are being questioned as many see the deportation of undocumented youth as highly unethical considering they are, in a sense, de facto citizens of the United States. These youth grew up in the United States and their peers are Americans. Their childhood and identity formation is American. Unfortunately, these de facto citizens are stuck in a Catch-22; they cannot vote for the president that will allow them to stay in the United States and become legally voting citizens.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
"In the Key of Aoki: Immigration Regionalism (eco)", UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 5 (2012) Gonzaga University School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-9 by JOHN SHUFORD, Gonzaga University - Department of Philosophy, Gonzaga University - Institute for Hate Studies, Gonzaga University - School of Law.
In 2010, Keith Aoki and I coined the phrase 'immigration regionalism' to describe a proposed innovation in immigration law and policy reform. Our intention was that immigration regionalism would become Immigration Regionalism — a book-length articulation, argument, and analysis of the provocative idea — in hopes that others would take up, critique, expand, revise, and operationalize this notion, in other words: help to answer our query as to whether 'immigration regionalism is an idea whose time has come.' Thus, without Immigration Regionalism, and without Keith, immigration regionalism necessarily remains incomplete. Given Keith’s love of music, his talent and background as a musician, his distinctive collaborative style of riffing-and-jamming, and his prolific career forged by crossing genres and media, I regard the status of our work on immigration regionalism like the first song of an unfinished album: Immigration Regionalism. Perhaps just as important as what we discussed is what we did not discuss before Keith passed away on April 26, 2011. Specifically, we had not written about these basic topics: what is a region; how and why are regions defined and who defines them; what is regionalism; what is the connection between regions and regionalism; what meaning or influence might regionalism have in the context of immigration law and policy; and what might count as an immigration region. I want to begin to address those topics here. In paying my respects to the influence of Keith’s work and thought, it feels right to continue with the focus of our collaboration and to reflect upon and share with others the distinctiveness of how Keith worked. How Keith thought through and worked out ideas with others was utterly refreshing, both professionally and personally speaking, and it is part of what so many of us dearly miss. With this Article, I mean to help bring our unfinished album nearer to completion. I do so here both by sharing the genesis and formation of immigration regionalism and by discussing and employing the methods by which we worked. I use a song structure framework as the organizational framework for this piece, both in homage to Keith and in keeping with our style of collaboration, and I utilize eco — the recalling of previously played notes, though softly and in a different octave — as I work to advance this half-written song toward a coda (repeat) and fade. My hope is that Keith’s voice, as well as his thought, vision, and inspiration, remains resonant here and in any future work on immigration regionalism.
Part-time Consultant: Business Partnerships Coordinator Posted 10/02/12
The Forum seeks to engage a part time Business Partnerships Coordinator for one year to work on its Bethlehem Project in Silicon Valley (California). The Coordinator will be responsible, among other things, for developing and maintaining partnerships with companies interested in working with non-profit organizations or community colleges able to provide integrated workplace training and/or naturalization services. The Coordinator will serve as point person for local partners for outreach events, workshops, etc.; and will coordinate meetings between local business partners and naturalization service providers and educational institutions to facilitate services that meet businesses partners’ needs.
For a complete description of the position and required experience,click here.
From UC Sacramento Center:
Karthick Ramakrishnan, Associate Professor of Political Science, UC Riverside
Public Opinion of Growing Electorate: the 2012 National Survey of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population grew faster than any other racial group, at a rate of 46 percent. In 2010, AAPIs were over 5 percent of the population in 145 congressional districts, and in over 600 cities or municipalities. In 2008, 600,000 new Asian American voters entered the electorate and a similar number of new voters are expected in 2012.
AAPIs are a potent new factor in electoral equations this year and in years to come yet we know very little about the political opinions of this community. What are the policy issues that matter most to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders? Where do AAPIs stand on some of the most debated issues of today? Professor Ramakrishnan from UC Riverside will present results from a 2012 survey that helps answer these questions.