Saturday, November 3, 2012

Latino Workers Picket Boston's Diva Restaurant

From the Boston Occupier:

Outside the Diva Indian Restaurant in Davis Square, a boisterous crowd fills the sidewalk on Friday evenings, chanting and holding signs. “Don’t dine at Diva!” one protester calls out. “One World Cuisine Steals Wages!” shouts another. An organizer holds aloft a sign for passing cars to see: “Honk if you hate wage theft!”

Organizers are picketing to inform the public that Diva Restaurant’s owner, One World Cuisine, stands accused of stealing over $100,000 in wages from its workers. According to former employees, Diva paid workers less than minimum wage and failed to pay them for overtime, even while making them work 60 or 70 hours per week. Former workers are now suing the company.

Most would-be patrons stop and listen. Some continue inside. But about half of them, standing on the threshold, change their minds and go elsewhere, thanking the organizers. “Wow. I had no idea,” says one local student.

On the picket line, dozens of Somerville residents—sometimes sporting drums and musical instruments—join former Diva employees, alongside organizers from Centro Presente, a state-wide community organization whose mission is to empower Latino immigrant workers and their communities.

“We want to set a precedent. To teach these employers a lesson. Un entendecedente!” exclaims Edic Herrera, a worker-activist with Centro Presente. “We’re going to make them pay what they owe.” Read more...


November 3, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Dialogue on ABA's Civil Immigration Detention Standards: Promoting Fair Treatment and Access to Justice Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:15pm to 5:00pm New York City (Venue TBA)

The American Bar Association and the Center for Migration Studies are sponsoring a discussion of the ABA’s new standards on civil immigration detention in New York City on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 from 3:15 to 5:00 p.m. The ABA Civil Immigration Detention Standards build on the ABA’s longstanding leadership in increasing access to justice and humane treatment for men and women in immigration detention, and address daily living conditions; access to legal services; communications; visitation; access to religious services; grievances; accountability and oversight; and other areas.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) existing detention standards originated through a process of collaboration between the ABA, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and DOJ’s former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS); they have been updated several times since they were originally issued in 2000. The ABA Commission on Immigration developed the Civil Immigration Detention Standards to provide the DHS with a guide for transitioning to a civil detention system that befits its civil detention authority. The civil standards arise, in part, from the ABA’s extensive advocacy, monitoring, and reporting on immigration detention, as well as its direct work with men and women in detention.

The standards were developed under the guidance of an expert Advisory Task Force that included a former Commissioner of the INS, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction Dora S. Schriro, and experts from the corrections, medical, academic, and other fields. They were drafted with the pro bono assistance of Crowell & Moring LLP. To register, please email Rachel Reyes at by Thursday, November 8, 2012. A venue in New York City will be announced soon. Please check for updates.


November 3, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Argument recap: A lawyer’s puzzle — The retroactive impact of Padilla v. Kentucky

See my recap on the oral arguments in Chaidez v. United States on SCOTUSblog here.


November 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Maryland's DREAM Act on the Ballot

On Election Day next week, voters in Maryland will have the opportunity to decide on Maryland's DREAM ACT. Maryland's DREAM ACT, which was signed by Governor Martin O'Malley in 2011, enables an undocumented immigrant who attended a Maryland public school for at least three years (and who meet other requirements) to qualify for in-state tuition in a Maryland community college and makes her eligible for in-state tuition rate at a four-year public college or university.

Question 4 of the Maryland General Election Ballot Question allows voters to decide by popular vote on whether to approve or repeal the law. According to a Washington Post poll, Question 4 has significant support from likely voters. We'll find out next week!


November 2, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Understanding Unlawful Presence Bars

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Webinar Details
This advanced webinar will analyze and compare the unlawful presence bars in INA Sections 212(a)(9)(B) and 212(a)(9)(C) in detail, demonstrating when they apply, what waivers are available and what exceptions exist pursuant to CIS policy. We'll also touch on the application of 212(a)(9)(C) to those with prior removal orders, and discuss the relationship between 212(a)(9)(C) and reinstatement of removal under INA Section 241(a)(5). Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of these statutes and be better able to analyze clients' cases, and avoid common pitfalls.
Presenters:      Nora Privitera and Lourdes Martinez
Date:                November 15, 2012
Time:              12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Pacific Time
Location:         Online
MCLE:             1.5 CA
Register by:     11/13/12

Register here.


November 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Berkeley Rejects S-Comm

Judith Scherr writes for the Oakland Tribune:

BERKELEY -- The city's police will no longer hand prisoners over to federal immigration authorities under an action approved Tuesday night.

The City Council voted unanimously not to respond to Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to take charge of Berkeley prisoners suspected of violating federal immigration law.

"To our knowledge, this is the strongest language (opposing the policy) in the country," said George Lippman, chairman of the city's Peace and Justice Commission.

In adopting the new policy, the council turned down a proposal by Police Chief Michael Meehan that would have raised the bar for turning suspects over to ICE. Meehan wanted police to limit compliance with ICE requests to cases where the jailed suspect -- either an adult or a minor -- was accused of a serious felony and also had been convicted of a serious crime in the past.

The ICE program rejected by the council, known as Secure Communities, identifies immigrants in U.S. jails who can be deported under immigration law. The program depends on information shared among local and federal law enforcement agencies. Read more...


November 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Inspector General Report: Backlog in Immigration Courts With Increase in Judges Hard to Explain

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. government is not keeping up with the caseload in immigration courts, despite an increase in the number of judges handling the cases.  In a report released on Thursday, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said record-keeping by the immigration courts is so flawed that it is difficult to draw conclusions about why the courts are unable to reduce the volume of cases.


November 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Nominate your candidate for the Immigrant Youth Achievement Award today!

The American Immigration Council is now accepting nominations for their 2013 Immigrant Youth Achievement Award.

Each year the Council receives hundreds of nominations from around the country lifting up exceptional young people whose accomplishments amaze us and whose dreams inspire us. The Immigrant Youth Achievement Award celebrates high-achieving young immigrants, whose personal accomplishments and contributions demonstrate the important impact young immigrants are having on our nation every day. These nominations serve as a reminder that our country was built by hard-working, forward-thinking immigrants and in order for our country to continue to lead, we must invest in the future of today’s immigrant youth.

The Immigrant Youth Achievement Award is presented to the winner at the American Immigration Council’s annual Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards in the Spring. Past honorees have emigrated from countries such as Ireland, India, Mexico, Cambodia, China, and Cuba and have made contributions in literature, journalism, music, and politics.


• The honoree must be between the ages of 14 and 25 years of age on April 11, 2013 ;

• The honoree must be an immigrant to the United States, including those who have become naturalized citizens;

• The accomplishments of the honoree must reflect more than personal success and should have evidence of a commitment to making a positive impact in their community or the world around them;

• The honoree must be willing and available to travel (at the American Immigration Council’s expense) to Washington, DC for the awards ceremony on Thursday, April 11, 2013. The American Immigration Council will cover the costs of travel and accommodations for the honoree, and for a parent or guardian if the honoree is a minor.

Deadline: February 1, 2013 at midnight EST.

Click here to nominate your candidate!


November 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Green Card Holders and Legal Immigration to the United States

In 2011, more than 1 million people were granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of new LPRs were immigrants with family ties in the United States, report Migration Policy Institute's Joseph Russell and Jeanne Batalova in this updated look at the latest statistics on legal immigration.


November 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Messaging Strategies on Immigration Issues

From the Opportunity Agenda:

Webinar Invitation:  Telling a Shared Story about Immigration Issues 

November 15, 2012
2:00-3:30pm EST

Telebriefing Details:

With the quickly changing immigration landscape, we need to make sure our messaging keeps pace. That said, it's also critical that new messaging be framed under the common, recognizable themes and shared narrative many of us have been working with. Join us to learn about how this can all work together – new messaging and existing narrative, and what it can look like applied to real campaigns.

Speakers will include Julie Rowe and Chuy Sánchez from The Opportunity Agenda; Ryan Clayton, who coordinated the recent New Messaging: Words that Work project; Tammy Besherse, Staff Attorney at the South Carolina Appleseed/South Carolina Immigration Coalition; Carolyn Harris, Director of Communications at the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice; as well as Juhu Thukral of The Opportunity Agenda as moderator.

There will be time for questions from the audience. Please register by November 9th.

Click here to register.


November 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration as a Human Right by Kieran Oberman


Immigration as a Human Right by Kieran Oberman University College Dublin

Abstract: This article argues that people have a human right to immigrate to other states. People have essential interests in being able to make important personal decisions and engage in politics without state restrictions on the range of options accessible to them. It is these interests which other human rights, such as the human rights to domestic freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of occupational choice, protect. Commitment to these already recognized human rights thus requires commitment to the further human right to immigrate, for without this further right the underlying interests are not sufficiently protected. Does this mean immigration restrictions are always unjust? On the view of human rights adopted here, human rights are not absolute. Restrictions might be justified in extreme circumstances in which immigration threatens severe social costs that cannot otherwise be prevented. Outside these circumstances, however, immigration restrictions are unjust. The idea of a human right to immigrate is not then a demand for open borders. Rather it is a demand that basic liberties (to move, associate, speak, worship, work and marry) be awarded the same level of protection when people seek to exercise them across borders as when people seek to exercise them within borders. Immigration restrictions deserve no special exemption from the purview of human freedom rights.


November 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Georgetown University Center for Applied Legal Studies Fellowship Announcement 2013-2015

Georgetown University's Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) announces that it is now accepting applications for its annual fellowship program in clinical legal education. CALS will offer one lawyer a two year teaching fellowship (July 2013 June 2015), providing a unique opportunity to learn how to teach law in a clinical setting. At CALS, our two fellows and faculty members work as colleagues, sharing responsibilities for designing and teaching classes, supervising law students in their representation of clients, selecting and grading students, administering the clinic, and all other matters. In addition, the fellow will undertake independent legal scholarship, conducting the research and writing to produce a law review article of publishable quality. This fellowship is particularly suitable for lawyers with some degree of practice experience who now want to embark upon careers in law teaching. Most of our previous fellows are now teaching law or have done so for substantial portions of their careers. Since 1995, CALS has specialized in immigration law, specifically in asylum practice, and our docket focuses on presenting asylum claims in immigration court. Applicants with experience in U.S. immigration law will therefore be given preference.

The fellow must be a member of a bar at the start of the fellowship period. The fellow will receive full tuition and fees in the LL.M. program at Georgetown University, and a stipend in excess of $53,000 in each of the two years. On successful completion of the requirements, the Fellow will be granted the degree of Master of Laws (Advocacy) with distinction.

Recent holders of this fellowship include Mary Brittingham (1995-97), Andrea Goodman (1996-98), Michele Pistone (1997-99), Rebecca Story (1998-2000), Virgil Wiebe (1999-2001), Anna Marie Gallagher (2000-02), Regina Germain (2001-2003), Dina Francesca Haynes (2002-2004), Diane Uchimiya (2003-2005), Jaya Ramji-Nogales (2004-2006), Denise Gilman (2005-2007), Susan Benesch (2006-2008), Kate Aschenbrenner (2007-2009), Anjum Gupta (2008-2010), Alice Clapman (2009-2011) and Geoffrey Heeren (2010-2012). The current Fellows are Heidi Altman and Laila Hlass.

The faculty members directing CALS are Andrew Schoenholtz and Philip Schrag.

To apply, send a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, a writing sample, and a detailed statement of interest (approximately 5 pages). The materials must arrive by December 3, 2012. The statement should address: a) why you are interested in this fellowship; b) what you can contribute to the Clinic; c) your experience with asylum and other immigration cases; d) your professional or career goals for the next five or ten years; e) your reactions to the Clinic's goals and teaching methods as described on its website; and e) anything else that you consider pertinent. Address your application to Directors, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown Law, 600 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 332, Washington, D.C. 20001, or electronically to


October 31, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sergio Romo, SF World Series Champ, Declares: ‘I Just Look Illegal’


Here is a nice story from ColorLines about SF Giants closer Sergio Romo and his unique "I Just Look Illegal" t-shirt.

Photo courtesy of Latino Rebels

October 31, 2012 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A Bit of Good News: No Immigration Enforcement Near Sandy Evacuation

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that, to the extent that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy (Sandy) impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the impacted region.

As such, to the extent that Sandy impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Sandy, including the use of checkpoints for immigration purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation.

For details, click the link above.


October 31, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CrImmigration Blog Online Symposium on Chaidez v. US: Is Padilla Retroactive?

The oral arguments before the Supreme Court in Chaidez v. United States (for a preview of the argument, click here) was moved from Tuesday to Thursday due to Hurricane Sandy.  The CrImmigration blog is having an on-line symposium on the case, including contributions by Professor Yolanda Vázquez (Cincinnati), Maurice Hew (Texas Southern), Neil Fleischer (Cincinnati attorney), Christopher Lasch (University of Denver’s criminal defense clinic), Craig Siegel (Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP), Carlos M. García (García & García Attorneys at Law, PLLC), Rebecca Sharpless (Miami), two attorneys from the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, Claudia Valenzuela (NIJC), Sarah Rose Weinman, and Michael Vastine (St. Thomas), Dawn Seibert (Immigrant Defense Project), and Elizabeth Wydra (Constitutional Accountability Center).


October 31, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Final Post on Filipino American History Month: Alien Land Law, Filipinos and National Status

Allison Brown Tirres's new article (as KJ posted earlier today) reminds us of the ongoing need to examine the intersection between property and immigration law. (As you may be aware, next summer, AALS is hosting a conference/workshop that touches on this very topic).

Many are aware that states passed various alien land Laws in the early 20th century in order to prohibit immigrants who were not eligible for citizenship from owning property. As Keith Aoki argued in his article, No Right to Own? The Early Twentienth Century 'Alien Land Laws' as a Prelude to Internment, many of these alien land laws (such as Califoria's) were passed specifically to prevent Japanese (who, like other Asians, were racially not eligible to become citizens under the racialized naturalization laws in effect in the U.S. between 1870 and 1952) from owning agricultural land.

Filipinos were also affected by alien land laws, but in a different way. Like many Asians Americans during the early 20th century, Filipinos were also racially ineligible to become citizens. Congress made exceptions to these racial bars for Filipinos such as in 1918 and in 1940 by allowing them to file for citizenship based on military service. For example, the Naturalization Law of 1940 provided that, “The right to become a naturalized citizen under the provisions of this chapter shall extend only to white persons, persons of African nativity or descent, and descendants of races indigenous to the Western Hemisphere; Provided, That nothing in this section shall prevent the naturalization of native-born Filipinos having the honorable service in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard as specified in section 724." Absent military service, Filipinos continued to be racially ineligible for citizenship, as the Supreme Court decided in Toyota v. United States, 268 U.S. 402, 411 (1945). 

Notably, Filipinos were also barred from citizenship for another reason: they were not "aliens" and therefore, could not naturalize. In Toyota, the Supreme Court noted that after the U.S. acquired the Philippines (and Puerto Rico) in 1898, Filipinos became Philippine citizens and who were entitled to protection of the United States. Importantly, Filipinos owed allegiance to the United States and were thus not aliens. Instead, they were U.S. nationals. 

The convergence of citizenship, nationality and property rights in the Filipino American context became apparent in the case of Alfafara v. Fross, 26 Cal. 2d 358 (1945). In this case, the California Supreme Court relied on the Supreme Court's holding that Filipinos were not aliens to conclude that Filipinos were allowed to own land in California despite the state's alien land law. Specifically, because Filipinos were nationals (and thus not aliens), the prohibition against land ownership did not apply to them. 


October 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Nine Venezuelans Played in World Series

After the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, slugger Pablo Sandoval was named the Series Most Valuable Player. "Panda" as he is affectionately called by teammates and San Francisco fans is proud of being a native of Venezuela. Turns out that nine players from Venezuela were on the Giants and opponent Detroit Tigers teams.

From the Associated Press:

On a ragged baseball diamond, its grass tall and infield dirt pockmarked, nearly 200 boys practice for hours every day. Many of them are inspired by the example of Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who learned the game on this very field.

The baseball school in the poor neighborhood where Cabrera grew up is one of many across Venezuela, a web for training young ballplayers that has made the country an emerging power in Major League Baseball.

A record nine Venezuelans are on the rosters of the Tigers and the San Francisco Giants in this year's World Series. And the players have been giving Venezuelans plenty to cheer about with feats like Pablo Sandoval's three-homer game and Gregor Blanco's diving catches in left field for the Giants.

Baseball has long been Venezuela's top sport and a national passion, producing such greats as Dave Concepcion and Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio. But it has blossomed like never before the past decade and sent ever larger contingents to the major leagues from a large and well-organized system of youth leagues and baseball schools.

On this season's opening-day rosters, the 66 Venezuelans were second only to the 95 from the Dominican Republic for foreign-born players. For the World Series, the nine Venezuelans, nine Dominicans and two Puerto Ricans on the two teams produced a record 20 foreign-born players for the championship, surpassing the previous high of 16. Read more....


October 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Fact Check: Mitt Romney's Spanish-Language Immigration Ad



Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is making a push for the Latino vote. His campaign  recently released a Spanish-language television ad in which Romney promises to solve various immigration problems, including the need for a "permanent solution" for young undocumented immigrants. Some immigrant groups, however, argue that the ad is misleading. The main issue is Romney's claim that he worked across party lines in Massachusetts made in the context of a discussion on immigration, suggesting that he would work in a bipartisan manner on the issue when elected president.

Click here for a fact check of the new ad.  Romney's immigration rhetoric has softened somewhat since he first started campaigning in the Republican primaries. On one hand, he's spoken of "self-deportation"—driving undocumented immigrants out of the country by removing incentives to stay. On the other hand, during the second presidential debate, he promised to pass a reform bill during his first year in office.

The ad, titled "Solutions for Immigration" opens with a segment on President Obama's failed promise to pass immigration reform, and goes on to say that if Mitt Romney becomes president, he will work to gain bipartisan support for reform.

Do you think that Mitt Romney, once a champion of "self deportation," would be better on immigration than President Obama?  Let us know readers.  We will accept guest posts on this topic.


October 30, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Republican Candidate in California Assembly Race Once Undocumented

Bae06e_225ec04eda06505f1e059b0d13492279_jpg_srz_569_384_75_22_0_50_1_20_0Courtesy of the Pedro Rios for Assembly website

There is an interesting campaign story emerging from a hotly contested race for a California Assembly seat in the heart of the Central Valley of CaliforniaRepublican Pedro Rios' candidacy has sparked controversy after it was publicly revealed that he came to the United States at age 9 as an undocumented immigrant. He later was granted amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and became a U.S. citizen. 

 Rios is running against Democrat Rudy Salas in the 32nd Assembly District. According to a story in the Bakersfield Californian, in his ads in English and in Spanish as well as on his website, Rios tells his story about immigrating to the U.S. from a small town in Sinaloa, Mexico. Once here, he worked in the fields, educated himself, joined the National Guard, became a teacher, served two terms on the Delano City Council, and is now a small business owner. Rios had not reveealed, however, that he once was undocumented.

On immigration, Pedro Rios opposes the DREAM Act as a political "band aid" while his opponent Rudy Salas supports it.

Interestingly, a recent poll found that, In the nearly two decades since Californians voted to punish  undocumented immigrants through Proposition 187, the state's electorate has become increasingly tolerant toward undocumented immigrants, although it remains tough on border enforcement.  ImmigrationProf will be watching to see how Pedro Rios does on election day in a region known for conservatism.


October 30, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Immigration Article of the Day: Property Outliers: Non-Citizens, Property Rights and State Power by ALLISON BROWNELL TIRRES


"Property Outliers: Non-Citizens, Property Rights and State Power" Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Forthcoming by ALLISON BROWNELL TIRRES, DePaul University College of Law

ABSTRACT: In the last decade, state and local governments have passed thousands of laws attempting to regulate immigrants within their boundaries. These regulations have been the subject of much litigation, as well as media attention and legal scholarship. Legal scholars have written extensively on the criminal and employment provisions of such laws, as well as on the general question of whether states can or should have any role to play in immigration law. Missing from most accounts, however, is attention to another common focus of these state and local regulations: property law. When we look at the role that property plays in state immigration regulation, we uncover some surprising and troubling truths. The area is a legal muddle, characterized by incoherent and inconsistent court rulings. These inconsistencies leave significant gaps in the protection of non-citizen property rights, not only for unauthorized immigrants but also for legally resident ones. This article draws much-needed attention to these gaps. It compares the two major areas of state regulation of non-citizen property: real estate and landlord/tenant law. A comparison of case law in these two areas demonstrates that the courts have failed in the last century to create a coherent framework for the assessing the relationship between non-citizens, property, and state power. I argue that the resulting inconsistencies stem, in part, from the failure of the courts to take into account a property perspective. I suggest what a property perspective would look like, drawing in particular on the core principles of alienability, equality and non-discrimination. This article posits that alienage law is a property outlier, since few of the norms of modern property law have been applied to non-citizens. We should be concerned about this fact, not only because of what it says about the weakness of non-citizen rights but also because of its implications for the failed modernization of property law.


October 29, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)