Saturday, February 4, 2012
From Immigration Impact:
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has outdone itself when it comes to shoddy research. In a recently released report on “demographic changes” in Arizona, FAIR utilizes an almost random assortment of statistics to make its case that the state’s unauthorized immigrants are fleeing in droves thanks to get-tough immigration policies. The report occasionally pays lip service to the impact on unauthorized immigration of the 2008-2009 recession, as well as persistently high unemployment rates that continue to this day. Yet FAIR concludes, without evidence, that state-level immigration enforcement has been the single most important factor causing the decline of the unauthorized population. In reality, this conclusion is not supported by the data which FAIR presents.
FAIR’s report is painfully self-contradictory. It opens with the bold statement that the “efforts of Arizona policymakers to deter the settlement of illegal aliens in the state and to encourage those already in the state to leave have made major advances in their objective.” To bolster this statement, the report offers a bountiful supply of numbers on declines over the past few years in the size of the state’s foreign-born population, foreign-born Latin American population, and unauthorized immigrant population—not to mention reductions in the poverty rate, birth rate, and crime rate. Strangely enough, some of these statistics—such as those on the drop in crime—document trends which began before Arizona had enacted any harsh immigration laws.
The report does mention, offhandedly, that punitive state immigration policies may not account for all of these demographic trends given the presence of other factors, such as “the effects of the recession, loss of jobs and growing unemployment.” Yet this acknowledgment of reality is immediately followed by the muddled argument that “the confluence of all of these factors constituted a strong message that Arizona was no longer a desirable destination for illegal aliens and that already settled illegal aliens faced increased exposure to identification and deportation.” At the very end, the report is back to making the sensational and unsubstantiated claim that the state’s demographic changes “resulted from local law enforcement activities as well as legislative changes designed to make Arizona less accommodating for aliens seeking illegal work in the state.”
While FAIR is certain that get-tough laws in Arizona have provoked an exodus of unauthorized immigrants, other observers with a less fanciful attitude towards data sound a note of caution. For instance, Juan Pedroza of the Urban Institute has pointed out that “it’s tough to tell whether (and how many) immigrants have left a community if you are looking right after a state passes a law. It can take years of evidence to test claims of a mass exodus.” Moreover, “growing evidence suggests that most immigrants (especially families with school-age children) are here to stay, except perhaps where local economies are particularly weak.”
In a related vein, a report released last year by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) evaluated the impact of the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), which made it mandatory for the state’s employers to use the federal E-Verify employment-authorization system. The report found that, while the law did motivate some unauthorized immigrants to leave the state, it also pushed many of those who remained “into less formal work arrangements.” As a result, “policymakers must weigh the sought-after drop in unauthorized employment against the costs associated with shifting workers into informal employment.” In other words, reality is more complicated than FAIR’s misinterpretation of demographic statistics would suggest.
FAIR’s numerical screed against unauthorized immigrants in Arizona does not rise to the level of serious research. Too many variables go unaccounted for, too many assumptions are made, and too many conclusions are predetermined. State-level immigration enforcement is one among many factors that influence the decision of an unauthorized individual or family in Arizona as to whether they should stay or leave. Untangling those factors involves complicated research of a kind that FAIR cannot provide.
From the Center for Forced Migration Studies at Northwestern University:
The Center for Forced Migration Studies (CFMS) at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, USA is hosting its second annual Summer Institute on Forced Migration Studies: "Unsettling Resettlement" from July 8th-14th, 2012.
This is a friendly reminder - space is limited and filling up fast! Register as soon as possible to secure your spot!
The CFMS Summer Institute is a six-day, non-degree earning seminar intended for researchers, policy makers, academics and practitioners working in issues of forced migration, resettlement and humanitarian assistance both within the United States and abroad. Through lectures, focused discussions, workshops and simulation exercises, the Institute, held at Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston, IL, provides a forum to exchange ideas, build relationships, develop new approaches and policy recommendations and learn about new developments in the field. Past participants have included government officials, non-governmental organization personnel, university faculty and graduate students (select advanced undergraduate students may seek permission to attend).
To register, please visit our website at:
Registration deadline is June 1st.
For more information about the Center for Forced Migration Studies, please visit:
Please do not hesitate to contact us at should you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) announces its newly updated publication, Asylee Eligibility for Resettlement Assistance. This guide is designed to help service providers address the barriers to resettlement and integration faced by asylees. It contains important and timely information about the benefits and services for which asylees are eligible, including job placement assistance, English language classes, medical screening, cash assistance, social security cards, employment authorization documents, adjustment of status, I-94s, travel authorization, petitioning for immediate relatives, and federal student financial aid. The guide, updated to January 2012, is a free resource for service providers that can be viewed and printed in PDF format on the CLINIC website. A limited number of free, printed copies are available by request. To request a printed copy, contact Laura Burdick via e-mail at email@example.com. Additional resources are available on the project website.
From the Immigration Policy Center:
**Tele-Briefing and Report Release, Monday February 6, 2012, 2 p.m. EST**
Discrediting “Self- Deportation” as an Immigration Control Strategy
Washington D.C. - The term “self-deportation” has been bandied about by GOP presidential aspirants lately—introduced as a new way to deal with our nation’s immigration woes. However, the concept of self-deportation is not new and is more commonly known as “attrition through enforcement”—a term coined by its creators. The groups behind “attrition through enforcement” have pushed federal and state legislative proposals, provided litigation support and created a network of grassroots organizations to promote their strategy. The “attrition through enforcement” strategy does nothing to address our national immigration problems and instead undermines fundamental human rights and places unprecedented legal, fiscal, and economic burdens on states and local communities.
Join experts for a discussion of what the policy of self-deportation or attrition through enforcement is and how it is playing out in state legislatures, courts and communities around the country. A companion report by The Immigration Policy Center will also be released.
Michele Waslin, Senior Policy Analyst, Immigration Policy Center.
Jonathan Blazer, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union.
Karen Tumlin, Managing Attorney, National Immigration Law Center.
Heidi Beirich, Director of the Intelligence Project, Southern Poverty Law Center
When: Monday, February 6, 2012, 2 p.m. EST
Where: Please RSVP for Dial-in Directions.
RSVP: Wendy Sefsaf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-507-7524.
Daniel Golden writes for Bloomberg:
The U.S. Education Department is probing complaints that Harvard University and Princeton University discriminate against Asian-Americans in undergraduate admissions.
The department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a complaint it received in August that Harvard rejected an Asian- American candidate for the current freshman class based on race or national origin, a department spokesman said. The agency is looking into a similar August 2011 allegation against Princeton as part of a review begun in 2008 of that school’s handling of Asian-American candidates, said the spokesman, who declined to be identified, citing department policy.
Both complaints involve the same applicant, who was among the top students in his California high school class and whose family originally came from India, according to the applicant’s father, who declined to be identified.
The new complaints, along with a case appealed last September to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging preferences for blacks and Hispanics in college admissions, may stir up the longstanding debate about whether elite universities discriminate against Asian-Americans, the nation’s fastest- growing and most affluent racial category.
Like Jews in the first half of the 20th century, who faced quotas at Harvard, Princeton, and other Ivy League schools, Asian-Americans are over-represented at top universities relative to their population, yet must meet a higher standard than other applicants based on measures such as test scores and high school grades, according to several academic studies. Read more...
Why Did an Asylum Seeker to the US End Up in a Liberian Prison? by Deepa Fernandes and Abdulai Bah January 31, 2012 tells what happened to one deportee from the United States. In 2007, Moriba Kamara came to the United States seeking asylum and was deported to Liberia in 2008. Upon arrival there, Kamara was labeled a security threat, treated like a convict, and locked up in a maximum-security prison. Investigative Fund reporters Deepa Fernandes and Abdulai Bah find that Kamara’s story is far from unique. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Secure Communities program — which has helped ramp up deportations from 165,168 in 2002 to 387,242 in 2010 — is supposed to deport only those with serious criminal backgrounds. But roughly 80 percent of these deportees had no criminal conviction or were guilty of only traffic violations or other low-level offenses. In this climate of increased pressure to deport, even asylum seekers like Kamara, who flee persecution, are criminalized. "I selected America for its human rights," Kamara says. "They treated me like I was the worst kind of criminal, and all I did was ask for asylum." In the end, Kamara was released from the Liberian prison through the efforts of a regional NGO. But what becomes of the estimated one million deportees that the Obama administration has removed over his three years in office?
From the National Guestworker Alliance:
State sanctions Hershey’s labor recruiter CETUSA for exploitation, retaliation
Yesterday, in a vindication of the six-month campaign by the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), the U.S. State Department announced it had barred major student guestworker recruiter CETUSA from the J-1 summer work travel visa program.
The State Department is also considering major structural changes to the J-1 program, which the NGA has pressed to protect future student workers.
CETUSA had sourced student workers into exploitation at the Hershey’s Chocolate plant in Palmyra, PA. Students organized to stop abuses, and demanded that Hershey’s turn the temporary jobs filled by J-1s back into living wage jobs for local workers. CETUSA responded with threats and retaliation.
“The State Department’s ban on CETUSA is a big win for the students, and a blow against the larger trend of labor recruiters and companies using guestworkers to hollow out industries and undercut wages and conditions all over America,” said NGA Director Saket Soni.
“Corporations like Hershey’s and labor recruiters like CETUSA have turned the J-1 cultural exchange program into the country’s largest guestworker program, and profited from captive workers earning low wages,” Soni said.
In August 2011, on the eve of the Occupy movement, student guestworkers at the Hershey’s packing plant joined the NGA and held a factory occupation—making the pages of the New York Times, Newsweek, and The Washington Post.
The jobs at the Hershey’s Chocolate plant had once been union jobs that came with rights, respect, and a living wage. Hershey’s subcontracted the jobs, and labor recruiter CETUSA provided Hershey’s with students on J-1 visas to work back-breaking shifts at low wages. Read more...
From UC San Diego:
How to Study Public Opinion in a Diverse Polity: Political Attitudes on Immigration in the U.S.
Jane Junn is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California.
Tuesday, February 7 at 12:30 pm
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
The study of the contours and antecedents of U.S. public opinion on immigration has been characterized by several strategies: 1) analyzing differences between whites and African Americans only; 2) controlling for race when estimating inferential models by using dummy variables; 3) utilizing models of white opinion to explain attitudes among minority Americans; and 4) analyzing one racial or ethnic group in isolation. Professor Junn argues that these approaches are insufficient to both the descriptive and inferential task facing analysts of public opinion in a diverse American polity. Instead, she advocates a comparative relational approach that considers the opinions of all Americans, and generates hypotheses based on the interactive and historically-grounded experiences of racial groups in the United States. With this approach, she develops a theory of the political context of racial structural positionality and articulate how this context and the development of racialization structures agency and constraint for Americans classified by race.
The UC Davis Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition is the only competition in the nation devoted exclusively to the topic of asylum and refugee law. It is also the only immigration law moot court competition on the West Coast. The teams are now coming to Davis for preliminary rounds tonight and tomorrow (February 3-4), with the championship round tomorrow afternoon. Among the final round judges are U.S. District Judge William Shubb (E.D. Cal.) and former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso. The preliminary rounds will be judged by prominent judges, attorneys, and scholars.
For the first time, the 5th Annual Asylum & Refugee Law National Moot Court Competition has been expanded to a two-day event, and will now include a quarter-final round.
If you have any questions, e-mail email@example.com.
VALPARAISO CONFERENCE ON IMMIGRANT CHILDREN
Date: February 10, 2012
Time: 9:00 a.m–4:30 p.m.
Location: Valparaiso University Law – Wesemann Hall
Admission Cost: $100.00 for attorneys; $50.00 for governmental and non-profits, VU faculty, staff & students are free.
Children & Immigration: A Lost Generation?
According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigrant children are the “lost generation” of the underground economy. While immigration reform has been a subject of intense political debate and controversial legislative action, the plight of undocumented children, many of whom have been raised in the United States, is largely overlooked. The purpose of the conference is to make visible the invisible plight of migrant children by focusing on how issues of immigration such as documentation, repatriation, asylum, trafficking, and exclusion from higher education, among others, differentially impact them.
CLE: This conference has be approved for 6 hours of CLE credit by the Indiana Commission on Continuing Legal Education. Attorneys seeking CLE credit may self-report to the appropriate MCLE Board or Commission, and a Uniform Certification of Attendance form will be provided in Conference materials.
Developing the Substantive Best Interests of Child Migrants: A Call for Action
by Professor Andrew Schoenholtz, Visiting Professor, Georgetown University Law Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown
Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown
Children are both highly visible and invisible as migrants. More and more is known about certain children who migrate, but very little is known about many others. The voice of the child is underappreciated yet desperately needed to understand the experience of migration and how best states, advocates, and practitioners should respond to these children’s journeys. Professor Schoenholtz contends that the current toolbox is inadequate to address the phenomenon of child migration, and he will push the conference participants to discuss and develop new tools—for law and policy makers, advocates, practitioners, and researchers.
Following Papers Presented By
Jeremiah Smith, Jr., Lecturer on Law Harvard Law School Executive Director, Committee on Human Rights Studies Harvard University
Evelyn Haydee Cruz
Clinical Professor of Law Director, Immigration Law & Policy Clinic Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Arizona State University
Assistant Professor Jane Addams College of Social Work University of Illinois at Chicago
Lecturer in Law Deputy Director Environmental and Regulatory Research Group University of Surrey, UK
Child Policy Consultant First Focus, Washington, D.C.
Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe
Clinical Assistant Professor of Law Northwestern University Law
David B. Thronson
Professor of Law College of Law Michigan State University
Professor of Law Valparaiso University Law
Director, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago
Executive Director Kids In Need of Defense Washington, D.C.
For information please contact Lorrie Hodge: phone: 219.465.7829 e-mail: Lorrie.Hodge@valpo.edu
CNN reports that "A human smuggling ring used non-Spanish speaking African-Americans to drive suspected illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexican border to the Los Angeles area, according to immigration authorities." Five Los Angeles-area residents have been indicted, according to authorities. An investigation uncovered a scheme in which people paid "$2,000 to $4,000 to be smuggled into the U.S." and were locked in trunks or compartments. The scheme sought out "financially disadvantaged U.S. citizens from south Los Angeles who did not speak Spanish, offering them $300 to $800 for every illegal immigrant they successfully transported."
ABSTRACT: Recognizing the need for a sympathetic construction of immigrants as a precursor to comprehensive immigration reform that goes beyond enforcement prerogatives, this article surveys the various “faces” of immigration reform - both of advocates for progressive reform and the potentially sympathetic group images they wield. I conclude that no image - whether of undocumented workers generally, farm laborers, immigrant children and Dreamers, or undocumented veterans - is poised to garner sympathy from voters and policymakers, particularly against the backdrop of the current economic crisis. Reform may hinge, then, on interest convergence so powerful that it transcends the prevailing negative portrayals of immigrants and our economic woes. As the article speculates in reviewing various grounds of convergence, an effective convergence may come from a surprising but transitory and muted source - the self-interest of politicians rather than from any innate courage or economic convergence.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The East Haven Indictment: A Product of the U.S. Government's Enlisting State and Local Law Enforcement's Assistance in Immigration Enforcement?
ImmigrationProf has posted extensively (here, here, here) about the federal civil rights indictment of East Haven, Connecticut police and the fallout (tacos and otherwise). Seth Freed Wessler on ColorLines has a fascinating investigative story about how the U.S. government (namely Immigration & Customs Enforcement) was encouraging cities like East Haven to assist in immigration enforcement at the same time that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating East Haven police (and other local authorities) for civil rights violations.
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be an isolated incident. Maricopa County, Arizona sherrifs also worked with the U.S. immigration enforcement authorities until last December when the Justice Department issued a stinging indictment of the County's systematic violation of the civil rights of Latinos and immigrants.
ICE Wants a Piece of the Super Bowl: ICE teams up with NFL and law enforcement partners to seize counterfeit goods
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton, and National Football League's Vice President for Legal Affairs Anastasia Danias, on Thursday will announce the latest results of seizures of Super Bowl XLVI and sports-related counterfeit merchandise and websites. And the press conference is at the Super Bowl Media Center in Indianapolis. John Morton and lucky public servants get a taste of Super Bowl mania!
•John Morton, Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
•Anastasia Danias, Vice President for Legal Affairs, National Football League
•David Murphy, Director of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
•Frank G. Straub, Public Safety Director, Indianapolis Department of Public Safety
WHAT: News Conference to announce the latest seizure results of a nationwide operation that is focused on seizing counterfeit Super Bowl XLVI and sports-related merchandise and websites.
WHEN: TODAY: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 at 10 a.m. ET WHERE: Super Bowl XLVI Media Center JW Marriott Indianapolis 1st floor, Room 103-104 10 S West Street Indianapolis, Ind. Important Note to Editors and Reporters: Access to this event is available to media with NFL-issued credentials. Media representatives who do not have these credentials should request a day pass before the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video/photo availability: Video/photo b-roll of counterfeit merchandise seized during this operation will be available for download here starting at 10:00 a.m ET today. Additionally, a limited number of DVDs with this B-roll will be available at the press conference.
UPDATE: Operation Fake Sweep has been declared a success. Don't you feel safer now?
With the release of new John F. Kennedy tapes, the late President's assasination has been in the news. In that vein, the Washington Post recently republished a fascinating account of Lee Harvey Oswald's attempt to renounce his U.S. citizenship; the account is written by the consular officer who considered the request.
Sometimes you can’t choose your messenger. In 2010 I went on the job market with a draft entitled Citizen Participation in Immigration Adjudication: Theory and Practice; in it I propose that citizens make the hardship determination in cancellation of removal proceedings. Citizen involvement is a good idea, I argue, because having citizens hear a migrant’s story and then look that migrant in the eye and impose deportation, or bestow the grace of relief, would provide citizens with a visceral sense of the consequences of our immigration laws. If you think, as I do, that having citizens understand in their bones the violence of deportation is a predicate to its legitimacy, then you’ll like my proposal. If you think that immigration legislation often turns out badly because citizens form their views based on abstractions rather than experience, reflection, or study, then you’ll also like my proposal. There’s no better way to create a more informed immigration discourse than to have citizens encounter the concreteness of a potential deportee who they have the power to save.
Kudos, then, to Gingrich for intuiting that citizens ought to get involved in immigration adjudication in some real way. But, as ever, the devil’s in the details. From the few specifics about the policy that are publicly available, it seems that Gingrich envisions an entirely citizen-based review panel organized by the Department of Justice that would assess the strength of an undocumented person’s communities ties and ability to support herself. It appears that a single committee of citizens would review all the applications within a given community and vote up or down based on criteria set by Congress. Such a system would not confer the democratic benefits I described in my paper. Better to funnel citizens into a jury or jury-like system where members would rotate through after a few cases. That way more citizens would receive the educational benefits that I think are so important, and we wouldn’t have to be concerned about citizen participants becoming inured to immigrants’ stories after reading many hundreds of them. It’s also crucial that a judicial officer play a role. Among other benefits having a judge around telegraphs the seriousness of the proceedings and can protect against unlawful discrimination. There are many other nits to pick with Newt’s proposal; still, I appreciate the impulse. Gingrich seems to recognize that having citizens do this kind of work will make our immigration discourse and policy more sane. I definitely agree with that.
Daniel Morales is an Assistant Professor of Law at DePaul College of Law.
Immigration Article of the Day: Chevron Without the Courts? The Supreme Court's Chevron Revision Project Through an Immigration Lens by Shruti Rana
"Chevron Without the Courts? The Supreme Court's Chevron Revision Project Through an Immigration Lens" Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Forthcoming U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-6 SHRUTI RANA, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
ABSTRACT: The limits of administrative law are undergoing a seismic shift. Chevron divides interpretive and decisionmaking authority between the federal courts and agencies in each of two steps. The Supreme Court is now transforming this division in largely unrecognized ways. These shifts, playing out most sharply in the immigration arena, are reshaping deference jurisprudence by handing more power to agencies just when they are least able to handle it effectively. An unprecedented surge in immigration cases - now approximately 90% of the federal administrative docket - has arrived just as the Court is whittling the judicial role while expanding agency authority, significantly transforming traditional deference doctrine. The Court has shifted the judicial role away from questions of statutory interpretation and towards a mere evaluation of when the agency’s interpretation should be granted deference. Assessment of the “reasonableness” of the agency’s action has given way to marking the outer boundaries of agency action, merging the court’s traditional oversight analysis into a form of “arbitrary and capriciousness” review.
Prestigious Pomona College, located in Southern California, is in the middle of a controversy over the release of a group on long term dining hall workers who could not verify their immigration status. Claims have been made -- and denied by campus administrators -- that the workers were fired because of their unionization activities. Pomona claims it was complying with federal immigration law and engaged the well-known law firm Sidley Austin for advice. For more on this story, click here.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Brian Ross reports the following immigration story tonight on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and on “Nightline." A tug-of-war over a five-year-old boy is at the center of a national debate over parental rights and immigration, and a sign of what critics say is a growing trend in which immigrants are being deemed unfit parents because they unlawfully crossed the border. A five-year-old boy's birth mother says that her son was taken from her against her will while she was in federal custody for an immigration-related crime, and hopes to regain custody in a trial that starts later this month. The boy has been living with a Missouri family under a court order.