Saturday, November 10, 2012

Visting Chile: A Law Dean's Visit Anyway

Outside the Palacio de La Moneda (Mint Palace), Presidential Palace, Santiago, Chile

I had the opportunity to travel this week to Chile this week on law school business.  From an immigration perspective, Chile was fairly easy to enter and exit, with the basics spelled out in the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs page on travel to Chile. Indeed, I found the Chilean port of entry officers (Policia de Investigaciones) to be speedier than the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who processed me in upon my return to the United States.

Chile does not require a visa for Americans to enter the country, but does charge Americans a “reciprocity fee,” currently $160 U.S. dollars, for a "Tourist Card" to stay in the country for 90 days.  The card must be kept by the visitor and returned upon exiting the country.  A significant concern of the Chilean government appeared to be with visitors bringing agricultural products into the country.

On the day that I arrived in Chile, Santiago, Chile's capital, and my hometown (Davis, California) had almost identical weather, with highs in the mid-80s F and lows in the 50s -- although Chile is approaching its summer while we in the states are headed toward winter. 

Santiago is a thoroughly modern city, much like one would find in Spain.  It has a vibrant market economy that, at this time, has a very low unemployment rate.  Copper and salmon are among its big exports.  The food, especially the seafood, beef, and desserts, was delicious.Chilean wine also is knoiwn around the world.  

Special treats of the trip were tours to Nobel Laurete Pablo Neruda’s unque house in Santiago, where he once entertained Diego Rivera (several of Rivera’s works still adorn the walls of the house), and the Presidential Palace (Palicio de La Moneta), which was bombed by the Chilean Air Force in the coup that brought down Salvador Allende in 1973.

The purpose of my trip was to meet with Chilean leaders to facilitate faculty and student exchange programs for UC Davis law students and faculty.  It was the week of the election and Chileans were very interested in the outcome and the issue came up in conversations with the U.S. Ambassador to Chile, Alexander Wolff (who by chance will give a talk at UC Davis School of Law next week), Minister of the Economy (and past Presidential candidate) Pablo Longueria, and Minister of Justice Teodoro Ribera, and several distinguished law school deans, including Deans Roberto Guerrero (Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile), Juan Vargas (Universidad Diego Portales), and Roberto Nahum (Universidad de Chile). Dean Nahum, who had invited me to visit when he had previously visited Davis, hosted my visit to Chile and was a gracious host indeed.  

During the week, I also attended the Association of Pacific Rims University Law Deans Meeting 2012 at the Universidad de Chile. Representatives in attendance came from law schools from Australia, China, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, Indonesia, Spain, the Philippines, India, and Costa Rica.



November 10, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Will Conservatives Change Their Tune on Immigration Reform?

In his victory speech Tuesday night, President Barack Obama noted that the time was now for comprehensive immigration reform.  There are some indications that Republicans, who have blocked immigration reform for nearly a decade, may reconsider the enforcement-only approach to immigration reform.  Besides blocking immigration reform, Republicans have affirmatively attacked immigrants, "anchor babies", "illegals", etc., championed "self deportation", and supported measures like Arizona's S.B. 1070 (and the many copycats).

As the Julia Preston story that Rose Villazor posted earlier this morning states, conservatives in digesting the results of Election 2012 appear to be seriously reconsidering the tough-on-nails approach to immigration that was popular among Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney,in the primaries and is represented by Kris Kobach, an advisor to the Romney campaign.  A reconsideration of the Republican Party's opposition to immigration reform seems appropriate given that, despite some criticism from Latinos and others for his administration's enforcement-oriented approach to immigration, President Obama received more than 70 percent of the Latino vote.

Republicans appear to see the writing on the wall.  Look at who has seen the light in just the last few days.  Conservative commenator Sean Hannity now reportedly supports a path to legalization.  Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner endorsed comprehensive immigration reform on Thursday noting “I think a comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others, can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

In December, law enforcement and business leaders will convene a National Strategy Session: Forging a Path Forward on Immigration. Leaders across the political spectrum will launch a push for reform. Confirmed speakers include Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association.

We will see whether Congress, with the leadership of President Obama, can put together a politically viable comprehensive immigration reform bill.  The time is right.  But the question remains:  Will our political leaders make comprehensive immigration reform a reality in the next four years?  Rest assured that Latino voters will be watching.


November 10, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Republicans Reconsider Position on Immigration

From the NY Times: "After a presidential election in which Latino voters rewarded President Obama while punishing Republicans for their positions on immigration, Republican leaders and prominent conservatives moved quickly this week to shift to new ground, saying they could support some kind of legislation to fix illegal immigration."


November 9, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrants Revitalize the Heartland

Mirian Jordan writes for the Wall Street Journal:

José Rodas moved to this blue-collar town on the Des Moines River in 2001 to take a job at the Cargill pork plant, after more than a decade eking out an existence in California and Nevada.

Within a year, the Guatemalan immigrant had saved enough money to buy a house for his family. Last March, he opened the town's first tortilla factory.

"It's much better here than in California," says Mr. Rodas, who works mornings at his "Tortilleria Los Twins" and the late shift at the Cargill plant. Read more...


November 9, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration and Family Law Symposium at Hofstra Law School

Lauris Wren and Theo Liebmann of the Maurice A. Dean School of Law at Hofstra University have put together a great symposium on immigration law and family law.

"When immigrant families become subject to a family court’s jurisdiction, the court’s services, its traditional “best interests” legal standard and its rulings frequently must be considered and effectuated from a different perspective. Undocumented and permanent residents face potential severe consequences to findings with which citizens need not contend, such as detention in an immigration facility, deportation to another country and permanent geographical separation from their families. These ramifications compound the challenges already faced by many families served by family courts. At the same time, family court involvement can often create opportunities for immigration relief for the survivors of abuse, neglect, abandonment and domestic violence whom the court serves.

This symposium will examine this vital and frequently complex interplay of immigration issues and family court matters; explore the statutory and ethical obligations for judges, practitioners and agencies that result from that interplay; and discuss ways that the family court can better serve immigrant youth and families. Sessions will focus on practice issues and policies and will include interactive group sessions and panel presentations." 


November 9, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Geoffrey Hereen, Persons Who Are Not the People: The Changing Rights of Immigrants in the United States


Geoffrey Hereen, "Persons Who Are Not the People: The Changing Rights of Immigrants in the United States" , Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 44, No. 2, 2013, Forthcoming

Abstract: Non-citizens have fared best in recent Supreme Court cases by piggybacking on federal rights when the actions of states are at issue, or by criticizing agency rationality when federal action is at issue. These two themes — federalism and agency skepticism — have proven in recent years to be more effective litigation frameworks than some individual rights-based theories like equal protection. This marks a substantial shift from the Burger Court era, when similar cases were more likely to be litigated and won on equal protection than on preemption or Administrative Procedure Act (APA) theories. This article describes this shift, considers the reasons for it, and argues that the APA and preemption may not protect non-citizens as well as individual rights like equal protection. For example, the preemption principles underlying the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Arizona v. United States might be used to attack state policies that are more beneficial to non-citizens than federal ones, such as the efforts of some jurisdictions to resist compliance with the federal government’s “Secure Communities” enforcement program. The APA, moreover, can be used to attack pro-immigrant federal policies, as in a challenge recently filed by a group of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to the Obama Administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program for undocumented immigrant youth. The article contends that federalism and agency skepticism are weak proxies for rights, which protect their holders by conveying both autonomy and membership. While recent jurisprudence does recognize non-citizens’ procedural rights and core rights of personhood in the criminal and quasi-criminal contexts, it rarely acknowledges that at least some non-citizens are members of civil society. The article critiques this shift as inconsistent with democratic values.


November 9, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant-Origin Countries and Numbers of US Immigrants, New Green Card Holders, and US Citizens

The US foreign-born population has reached a historic numerical high of 40.4 million, representing 13 percent of the US population. As a share of the overall US population, however, today's 13 percent remains below the historical high of nearly 15 percent recorded in 1890 and 1910.

To offer more detailed analysis of this and related information about US immigrants in the United States, this month the Migration Policy Institute has updated the Data Hub's US Country Profile with the data from the US Census Bureau's recently released American Community Survey (ACS) for 2011 and from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Here are a few interesting facts about immigrants residing in the United States, as well as those who became lawful permanent residents and US citizens in 2011:

* El Salvador is now among the top five origin countries of US immigrants: In 2011, El Salvador narrowly edged out Vietnam as the country with the fifth-highest number of foreign born. (According to 2011 ACS data, 1,265,000 immigrants from El Salvador resided in the United States, compared with 1,259,000 from Vietnam.) As expected, Mexico continued to hold the lead with the largest foreign-born population in the United States, with 29 percent of the nation's 40.4 million immigrants. Far behind Mexico is China (which includes Hong Kong) and India at about 5 percent each, followed by the Philippines (4 percent); El Salvador, Vietnam, Cuba, and Korea (about 3 percent each); and the Dominican Republic and Guatemala (2 percent each).

* More than 1 million immigrants received green cards in 2011 and nearly 700,000 became US citizens through naturalization: According to DHS data, 1,062,040 immigrants became lawful permanent residents (or green card holders) in 2011, with those born in Mexico, China, India, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic representing 38 percent of all new green card holders. During the same year, 694,193 immigrants became US citizens, with nationals of Mexico, India, the Philippines, China, and Colombia accounting for 34 percent of all new naturalized US citizens. The Data Hub's updated State Rankings tables draw on 2011 ACS data to offer a picture of immigration trends statewide and across the nation.

Some new findings:

* Growth of the Foreign Born Slowed in the 2000s: The growth of the US immigrant population was twice as high in the 1990s as during the 2000s. The number of immigrants increased from 19.8 million in 1990 to 31.1 million in 2000, or 57 percent, compared to a 28 percent growth rate between 2000 and 2010. In total, the United States gained 20.2 million immigrants between 1990 and 2010. The immigrant population additionally increased by 420,000 between 2010 and 2011 (from 40 million to 40.4 million), resuming a slight growth that had been brought to a standstill by the 2007-09 recession.

* The US foreign-born population during the 2000s grew the fastest outside of the six traditional immigrant-destination states: From 2000 to 2011, the immigrant population increased substantially faster in a trio of Southern states (albeit from a small population base in 2000) than the national growth rate of 30 percent. The states with the fastest growth during the period were: Tennessee (93 percent), South Carolina (91 percent), and Alabama (85 percent). By contrast, the immigrant populations in the traditional immigrant-destination states of California and New York increased by only 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

 Established by the Immigration Act of 1990, the Diversity Visa Lottery aims to diversify the US immigrant population by randomly selecting applicants from countries with relatively low levels of immigration to the United States during the previous five years. As the lottery's title suggests, foreign nationals can try their luck at being randomly selected out of a pool of eligible international applicants. Interest in the DV lottery is significantly higher than the 50,000 available visas, but each year the application number varies depending on which countries are eligible. More than 7.9 million qualified applications were received between October 4, 2011 and November 5, 2011 for the DV-2013 program. While an impressive amount, the number is significantly lower than the 14.8 million entries registered a year earlier.


November 9, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Cardozo School of Law Immigration Clinical Positions

The Cardozo School of Law’s Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic

is interested in hiring two attorneys or recent law graduates as a Clinical Fellows to start in fall 2012. The fellows’ responsibilities would include some combination of the following:

• work on deportation defense, or related cases, in the immigration and federal courts;

• work on impact litigation and advocacy projects with immigrant community based and national advocacy organizations;

• work supervising clinic students on litigation and advocacy projects;

• assist in teaching and administering the clinic seminar; and

• primary responsibility for the clinic docket during the summer session.

Fellows would have significant autonomy to construct their own docket of relevant work in accordance with their interests and would have the opportunity to take part in the academic life of the law school. This position is ideal for candidates interested in the substantive areas of immigration or criminal law and/or candidates interested in careers in clinical teaching.

The Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo is an in-­‐house year-­‐long intensive live client clinic in which students represent immigrants in a variety of matters but primarily in deportation proceedings in the immigration courts and federal courts. In addition, students have the opportunity to represent immigrant community based and national advocacy organizations engaged in impact projects on cutting edge immigration issues.

The clinic’s docket focuses on immigrants facing deportation because of encounters with the criminal justice system and more generally on immigration enforcement issues. The clinical director, Peter L. Markowitz, a fulltime member of the Cardozo faculty, will be responsible for mentoring, training, and supervising the Clinical Fellows.

This is a one year position with a potential one year extension. Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits will be provided. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and list of at least three references (ideally academic and professional) to: Zsuzsanna Toth at by January 1, 2012. Note, however, that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


November 9, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Latino Vote and the Future of Immigration Reform

From the Center for American Progress:

Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund for a special presentation:

Sen. Robert Menendez and Pollster Matt Barreto on the 2012 Latino Vote and the Future of Immigration Reform

November 14, 2012, 12:30pm - 1:30pm EST

RSVP to attend this event
Watch Live Online

Welcoming Remarks:
Neera Tanden, Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and President & CEO of the Center for American Progress

Distinguished Speakers:
Senator Robert Menendez, D-NJ
Matt Barreto, Founding principal of Latino Decisions and Associate Professor of political science at the University of Washington

Angela Kelley, Vice President, Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress Action Fund

Latino voters turned out in high numbers in this year’s election and were decisive in delivering President Obama’s reelection for a second term. A key issue for this rapidly growing segment of the electorate is immigration reform, specifically, the 11 million immigrants without legal status. For months leading up to the election, polling by Latino Decisions has shown that Latino voters care deeply about how the candidates talked about immigration reform, and the President himself acknowledged in Iowa that if he won, it would be because the Republican Party had alienated Latino voters and he has already pledged to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the first year of his second term. With a second-term mandate built on the promise of Latino Voters, immigration reform has moved to the forefront of the political discourse.

Please join the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Sen. Robert Menendez, United States Senator for New Jersey, and pollster Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions, for a discussion on the 2012 election, the Latino vote, and the future of immigration reform. Sen. Menendez is a long-time leader and champion of immigration reform, and Dr. Barreto and Latino Decisions have been at the cutting edge of identifying and surveying Latino voters, accurately predicting the results of races like Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) 2010 victory over Sharron Angle. Sen. Menendez will frame the discussion with opening remarks on the impact of the Latino vote in shaping the political landscape of 113th Congress, and then he will be joined by Dr. Barreto for a conversation moderated by Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.


November 8, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Interagency Working Group on Filipino War Veterans

From Congresswoman Jackie Speier's Office:

Rep Speier Statement On New Interagency Working Group For Filipino Vets

SAN MATEO, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo/San Francisco) released the following statement about the new Interagency Working Group led by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to analyze the process facing Filipino veterans who apply for compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I support the administration’s efforts to ensure that VA claims and benefits are properly managed for Filipino Veterans of World War II. Ultimately, Congress needs to act to ensure that Filipino World War II veterans and their families are entitled to full benefits and compensation for their service, not the negotiated half-settlement currently afforded to them.

“Filipinos were American nationals when they fought in the war and they were promised full benefits by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A promise made, should be a promise kept. We have broken our promise and it’s time to make amends.”

Congresswoman Jackie Speier is the author of the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2011 (HR 210) that would make Filipino veterans fully eligible for benefits similar to those received by all U.S. veterans. It eliminates the distinction between the Regular or "Old" Philippine Scouts and the other three groups of veterans—Commonwealth Army of the Philippines, Recognized Guerrilla Forces, and New Philippine Scouts. Widows and children of Filipino veterans would be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation just like any other veteran. Filipino veterans are dying at the rate of ten per day. Their average age is 85. There are an estimated 15,000 living WWII Filipino veterans who are worthy of benefits.

Editor's note: This relates to a very old issue that goes back to INS v. Hibi, 414 U.S. 5 (1973).


November 8, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Reminder: Call for Exams and Syllabi - Due November 9, 2012

At the last Immigration Law Teachers Workshop at Hofstra Law School, a number of professors noted that it would be helpful to have access to immigration law syllabi and exams.  Although there are syllabi and old exams posted to the Immigration Law Professors Blog, those resources need to be updated and expanded.

With the end of the semester and exams fast approaching (!), we wanted to go ahead and get the ball started. Also, a number of you may be teaching Immigration Law and/or other related courses next semester and may be thinking about your syllabus.

Thus, we ask that those of you who are willing to share your exams and syllabi to please send them to either Rose Cuison Villazor at<> or David Thronson at<>. These resources will be placed in an “Exam Bank” and “Syllabus Bank” that will be a password-protected site (to be housed at the University of California at Davis School of Law). (Later, we will send information about how to get the password for the site).

In order to further protect these resources, particularly the exams, we will require that those who want to access these resources agree that they will only use the resources for their own benefit (to prepare their exams, to prepare their syllabus for their own classes) and, importantly, to not disseminate them to their students or otherwise make them publicly available.

We would appreciate receiving either exams or syllabi or both by November 9 at 5 PM EST so that we would have enough time to organize, upload and share them with those who need them.

If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.

Thank you.

David Thronson and Rose Cuison Villazor


November 8, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration, Crime, and Victimization: Rhetoric and Reality by Marjorie S. Zatz and Hilary Smith

Immigration, Crime, and Victimization: Rhetoric and Reality by Marjorie S. Zatz Arizona State University and Hilary Smith University of Colorado at Colorado Springs , December 2012 Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 8, pp. 141-159, 2012

ABSTRACT:  Contrary to popular perceptions that immigration increases crime, the research literature demonstrates that immigration generally serves a protective function, reducing crime. This review takes as its starting point the contradiction between the rhetoric and the reality of immigration and crime in the United States. We begin by exploring the conditions under which immigration reduces crime and those under which it has less or no effect, with particular attention to traditional and new destination sites. We then demonstrate how the moral panic about immigration has contributed to unprecedented levels of new legislation and intensified enforcement practices. These new laws and policies, we suggest, are making immigrants and their communities less safe. We consider some of the ways in which immigrants have become more vulnerable and how that vulnerability is patterned and nuanced. We close by examining recent research in other parts of the world, finding some similarities but also differences in the relationships among immigration, crime, and victimization.


November 8, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hit Hard but Bouncing Back: The Employment of Immigrants During the Great Recession and the Recovery

This Urban Institute report by Maria E. Enchautegui observes that, during the Great Recession immigrants lost more employment, relative to their initial employment level, than U.S.-born workers. During the recovery, immigrants gained more employment than U.S-born workers. The employment gains of immigrants during the recovery spread among all educational groups except those with no high school diploma. Among U.S.-born workers, only those with Bachelor's degree or more gained employment. By mid-2012, the employment of both immigrants and U.S.-born workers were still below the pre-recession level.


November 7, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans Overwhelming Support for Obama

93% of African Americans, 71 percent of Latinos, and 73 of Asian American voters supported President Obama yesterday. See more...


November 7, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New American Voters' Decisive Role in Presidential Election


New American Voters Turn Out in Great Numbers
San Jose – Last night, New American voters throughout the country turned out to vote in great numbers to participate in the decision making process.  The immigrant community sent a strong message in support of immigrant families, workers and students. Once again, immigrants embraced the influential role they play in American politics and made the difference in the presidential elections and state and local initiatives such as CA Proposition 30 and Santa Clara County’s Measure D.  Prop 30 will raise the sales tax a quarter percent for the next four years and personal income taxes for the highest earners, resulting in $6 billion in revenues that will avert further state budget cuts to health and human services and education.  Measure D was also passed in Santa Clara County which will increase minimum wage from $8 to $10, a necessary change given the cost to live and work in the c! ounty and will allow workers to support themselves and their families.

In California alone, 41% of the population is comprised of immigrants or the children of immigrants, while in Santa Clara County 37% of the population are immigrants with 48% of them eligible to vote!  In January of this election year, SIREN re-launched its “New Americans Citizens Vote” campaign to ensure that our newly-registered voters take part in the voting process and have a voice in the American political system.  SIREN garnered the support and commitment of over 4,250 immigrants to turn out to vote in last night’s election; informed over 15,000 immigrant voters on what was at stake in the November 2012 elections and registered nearly 1,000 newly qualified voters, exceeding expectations and helping new voters voice their opinion as Americans in this critical time.

“Last night New American voters made it clear that they will hold their elected officials accountable and expect their interests be upheld and rights protected,” said Patty Diaz, Executive Director, SIREN, “The time is now for real change and create an immigration process that uphold our American values.”  

In the last four years immigrants have felt the brunt of the economic crisis, and the devastating effects of a record number of deportations, as well as the effects of draconian budget cuts to education, health and human services.  Motivated by their desire to see a stronger economy and stronger communities, immigrant voters were reignited to make their voices heard at the local, state and national level.

“As an organization committed to immigrant empowerment and integration, , SIREN is energized by the possibilities of another four years,” said Zelica Rodriguez-Deam, Policy Advocacy Director, SIREN, “but without our continued organizing and engagement of the immigrant community in the decision making process, we will not achieve sustainable change.”

President Barack Obama will be staying in the White House for another four years and the immigrant community will be undeterred to ensure he keeps his promise of creating an immigration process that works for America, keeps families together, strengthens our economy, and recognizes the enormous contributions of a vibrant and culturally rich immigrant community.


November 7, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Other Election 2012 News: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Rep. Lou Barletta Win Re-Election, Maryland passes DREAM Act


President Obama won relection but, at least from an immigration perspective, other results were a mixed bag.

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has frequently made the news on ImmigrationProf blog (including for the racial profiling charges in a federal civil rights trial last summer), handily won reelection on Tuesday.  One is left to wonder why, given Arpaio's dismal civil rights record with respect to Latinos and immigrants, the voters of Arizona reelected him.

Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA), who as Mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania championed the city's famous anti-immigrant law, won reelection to Congress.   

On the good news side of the ledger, Maryland voters enacted a state DREAM Act that allows certain undocumented resident students to pay in-state tuition at Maryland state colleges.  It is the first state DREAM act to be approved by the voters in a state election. Professor Michael Olivas has compiled a list of the state fee laws for undocumented students.


November 7, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

President Obama Wins Relection, Time for the DREAM Act, Comprehensive Immigration Reform


The American people reelected President Obama yesterday.  In his victory speech, the President emphasized that, among other things, immigration reform remained an important goal of the next term.  Exit polling shows that Latinos voted overwhelmingly for the President. 

Hopes for immigration reform are high.  The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:

“Today our nation witnessed the strength of democracy in action. An extraordinary number of voters, including record numbers of Latino, Asian and New American voters, went to the polls clamoring for practical solutions that honor our values and move our nation forward.

“The message was clear: President Obama must fulfill his campaign promise and work with congressional leaders to create a common-sense immigration process that treats all people with dignity. And Republicans must choose pragmatism over extremism on immigration, putting forward practical solutions that create a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans.

“In the words of CNN political analyst David Gergen earlier today, 'Whoever wins, we will get immigration reform. The Democrats want it and the Republicans need it.’

“President Obama can look to a growing alliance of conservative faith, business and law enforcement leaders who are laying the groundwork for bipartisan support on immigration reform.

“Look no further than Grover Norquist, a conservative power player, for a key example of the emerging consensus among conservatives and moderates on a common-sense approach on immigration. As Mr. Norquist recently stated, ‘Immigration is the most important thing to focus on if you’re concerned about America as an economic power. It’s not only good policy to have more immigrants to the United States … [and] a path forward for those people who are here; it's also good politics.’

“Today’s election marks the introduction of something different: a powerful bipartisan alliance that expects pragmatic immigration solutions from President Obama and the 113th Congress."

I have at times been critical of the Obama administration's enforcement-oriented approach to immigration.  Despite the much-publicized Deferred Action for Childhood Arriivals program, the administration has set records for deportations and detentions.  The Secure Communities program created and implemented by the administration has struck fear in the heart of immigrant communities with people fearing any interactions with local police (and making it difficult for police to detect and fight crime).  As President Reagan did in his second term with the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, it is time for the President to push for truly comprehensive immigration reform -- to establish a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, to improve the legal immigration system, and fine-tune enforcement.  It seems clear that the Latino voters who turned out for the President will accept no less.



November 7, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration Enforcement and the Fugitive Slave Acts: Exploring Their Similarities by Karla Mari McKanders


Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration Enforcement and the Fugitive Slave Acts: Exploring Their Similarities by Karla Mari McKanders

Abstract: Two seemingly different federal enforcement systems that affect the movement of unskilled workers — the 1793 and 1850 Fugitive Slave Acts and current state immigration enforcement policies — have remarkable similarities. Both systems are political stories that are demonstrative of the failure of federalism. The federal government’s current failure to enforce immigration laws has encouraged state and local governments to pass their own laws. Alabama and Arizona have enacted far-reaching laws, which are similar to the federal Immigration and Nationality Act § 287(g) programs. Both have been challenged on constitutional preemption and equal protection grounds. Recent scholarship has focused mainly on whether the state and local actions are constitutionally preempted. Current scholarship has overlooked ways the federal government has previously utilized state and local entities to enforce federal laws that govern individual rights. To date, legal scholars have not engaged in this comparison. This article challenges the notion of the Fugitive Slave Acts’ irrelevance in this context by examining in detail the similarities of both systems and the results that are produced when the federal government is provided with unfettered discretion to abrogate individual rights. The article proceeds in three parts. Part I provides an overview of the implementation and enforcement of the Constitution’s Fugitive Slave Clause and the 1793 and 1850 Fugitive Slave Acts. This Part also explores the implementation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the evisceration of the Fugitive Slave Acts when subsequent immigration laws refused to recognize equal protection rights for immigrants. Part II explores the reverse immigration-federalism story in which states and localities are enacting immigration legislation against the backdrop of federal inaction. Part III explores how both the Fugitive Slave Acts and current immigration enforcement laws create outsiders by failing to protect individual liberty rights. The article concludes with broad doctrinal lessons on immigration federalism and demonstrates how the law and legal actors can perpetuate norms that facilitate the creation of tiered personhood.


November 6, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Job Announcement Two Lecturer/Practitioner-in-Residence Positions to Begin Summer/Fall 2013 Human Rights Clinic & Immigration Clinic

The University of Miami School of Law’s Clinical Program is pleased to announce that it is hiring two lecturers/practitioners-in-residence to work in its Human Rights Clinic and Immigration Clinic. The positions will begin in the summer or fall of 2013. The positions are open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply before December 14, 2012. The two positions are described in detail below. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Becky Sharpless, Director of the Immigration Clinic, at if they would like additional information about either position.


November 6, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Women Immigrant Fellowship Stories

From New American Media:

Dear Friends:

We thought you might be interested in checking out our latest stories on the intersection of immigration and gender from our Women Immigrants Fellowship Program.

These include stories on reproductive rights for undocumented immigrants in Texas; California nannies who left their kids behind to come here; survivors of human trafficking who end up working low-wage jobs at risk of re-exploitation; and crime victims who have a hard time getting a U-Visa because of where the crime took place.

Click here for the most recent storiesl.


November 6, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)