Saturday, March 3, 2012

Immigration Article of the Day: VIEW THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: HOW CRIMES APPEAR FROM THE IMMIGRATION COURT PERSPECTIVE by Hon. Dana Leigh Marks and Hon. Denise Noonan Slavin

A VIEW THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: HOW CRIMES APPEAR FROM THE IMMIGRATION COURT PERSPECTIVE Hon. Dana Leigh Marks and Hon. Denise Noonan Slavin 39 Fordham Urb. L.J. 91 (2012)Download A View Through the Looking Glass, Fordham Urban Law Journal

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this Article is to provide a basic overview of a body of law that has been compared as second only to tax law in its complexity.  Our goal is to highlight the major areas where criminal laws intersect with and impact noncitizens through the Immigration and Nationality Act. No mere article could be comprehensive in this complicated area of the law that is the subject of voluminous treatises and is subject to constant and rapid revision. However it is our hope to orient non-immigration lawyers and judges to how the outcomes of their work in the criminal courts impact noncitizens when they enter our world, the immigration courts.


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

Immigrants Arrested at NC Legislative Hearing

The news out of North Carolina is that three immigrants wearing T-shirts that said "Undocumented and Unafraid" were arrested at a legislative immigration hearing in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday. They have been charged with disorderly conduct after a demonstration during a House of Representatives hearing on immigration policy. The three reportedly are in federal immigration detention. For more on this story, click here.

UPDATE:  Two of those arrested hav ebeen released and one remains in custody.


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

Mexico's 'Migrant Mountain': Eco Alberto

Duncan Kennedy of BBC News reports a theme park in Mexico (Eco Alberto), tourists can pretend to be an undocumented immigrant seeking to enter the United States. The migrants are chased by fake border patrol officers as they try to make it through rivers and mountains to the promised land.


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

Conference on Immigrant Detainees

Nationally renowned immigration experts, judges, practitioners, academics, and former detainees will speak at the all-day conference, “Immigrant Detainees: Alone, Unrepresented & Imprisoned,” to be held at Rutgers School of Law–Newark on Friday, March 23, 2012. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez will deliver the keynote address.

The conference is a joint effort by the Rutgers–Newark, Seton Hall, Cardozo, and New York University law schools. Panel sessions include:

Immigration Incarceration (a look at the realities of immigration detention)

Mandatory Detention: Impact, Alternatives & Paths to Reform

Access to Justice for Detainees in Immigration Proceedings

A Call to Action: Promoting Pro Bono Representation in Immigration Proceedings.

Confirmed speakers include:

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

Hon. Michael A. Chagares, Third Circuit Court of Appeals

Alice Clapman, University of Baltimore School of Law

Alina Das, NYU Law School

Betsy Ginsberg, Cardozo Law School

Amy Gottlieb, American Friends Service Committee

Anju Gupta, Rutgers School of Law–Newark

Warren Joseph, Families for Freedom

Hon. Robert A. Katzmann, Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Lynn M. Kelly, NY City Bar Justice Center

Lawrence S. Lustberg, Gibbons PC

Lauren Major and Semuteh Freeman, NYU Law Immigrant Rights Clinic

Lori A. Nessel, Seton Hall Law School

Judy Rabinovitz, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project

Ravi Ragbir, Families for Freedom

Silky Shah, Detention Watch Network

Annie Sovcik, Human Rights First

Catherine Weiss, Lowenstein Sandler LLC

Seth Freed Wessler, Investigative Reporter,

Amelia Wilson, American Friends Service Committee

The conference is free and open to the public; however pre-registration is required.

The conference is co-sponsored by Lowenstein Sandler PC, Gibbons PC, Rutgers Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, Rutgers–Newark Center for Migration and the Global City, Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic, Rutgers Immigrant Rights Collective, Rutgers Human Rights Forum, Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice, NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, American Friends Service Committee, and Human Rights First.


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

The Public Sociology Conference Faceless Latino/a Immigrants: Pathways to Resistance Chapman University March 16-17, 2012

Chapman University and Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences invites you to the Public Sociology Conference entitled, Faceless Latino/a Immigrants: Pathways to Resistance at Chapman University on March 16 and March 17 2012. The conference aims to encourage meaningful conversations and practices between scholars, policy makers and local Latino/a communities on undocumented immigrants in Orange County. It is an interdisciplinary conference organized by the Department of Sociology of Wilkinson College in collaboration with the College of Education Studies and the School of Law at Chapman University, in effort to engage scholars, grassroots groups, students and local institutions in serious dialogue on different models of conversations, engagement practices.

The conference will consist of six special panels of community members and scholars discussing:

• Contextualizing the Immigration Debate and Making Sense of the Backlash against the Undocumented

• The Criminalization of Immigration and the Violence on the Borders

• Education and Resistance: Pedagogical Nuances and the Dare to DREAM Movement

• Solutions to Immigration: Cutting across National and Local Dimensions

• Exclusion Versus Inclusion: Why Assisting the Undocumented Makes for Healthier Communities

The conference will run from 9am to 8pm on Friday (with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided) and 9am to 3:30pm on Saturday (with breakfast and lunch provided).


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

Friday, March 2, 2012

Washington State Can Terminate Food Stamps for Lawful Immigrants

From the Associated Press:

Thousands of poor immigrant families in Washington could soon face cuts in the food aid they receive, after a federal appeals court cleared the way Wednesday for lawmakers to reduce or eliminate the program.

The Legislature tried a year ago to cut the program in the face of severe budget woes, but the decision was blocked by U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle. The judge sided with immigrants who claimed the decision was discriminatory and violated their rights to due process.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the state's actions posed no such concerns.

The Department of Social and Health Services will consult with lawmakers about how they want to respond to the ruling. That could include pushing ahead with proposals in the House and Senate budgets to reduce the program's spending in half, moving to eliminate it altogether, or waiting to see whether the plaintiffs in the case seek reconsideration or appeal the decision, said Babs Roberts, director of the department's Community Services Division.

She said the department was pleased the appeals court found that the state had the authority to cut the program, but added: "It's a double edged sword. It's very hard to celebrate this decision in any way, because it says you can go ahead and cut essential benefits to these families."

The Food Assistance Program serves immigrants who are in the country legally and do not qualify for federal food stamps, in many cases because they haven't been in the U.S. long enough. It was enacted in the mid-1990s after Congress cut benefits for them as part of welfare reform.

The Washington program serves about 10,500 households and costs about $16 million a year when fully paid for.

Budget proposals in the House and Senate would direct about $8 million a year to the program, enough to give each recipient $3 per day, said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children's Alliance, which urged the Legislature to maintain the program.

"These are very low-income families, below the poverty line," Gould said. "These families, who struggle to put enough food on the table, now no longer have the legal protection that was preventing their children from going hungry." Read more...

The case is Pimental v. Dreyfus.


March 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Oppose Massachusetts' Anti-Immigrant Legislation S. 2061

From Centro Presente:

Dear friend,

Massachusetts lawmakers are attacking immigrant and Latino communities, again.

Lead sponsor Democrat Senator Richard Moore, along with over 50 other Democrat and Republican co-sponsors of S. 2061, are trying to take away the basic rights of our immigrant neighbors to housing, education, work, and travel. They’re setting up a system for people to anonymously report anyone they “suspect” is undocumented to the Attorney General, an idea that has racial profiling written all over it. And they’re trying to force local police to check the immigration status of everyone they arrest through harmful federal programs like S-COMM.1

Bill S. 2061, or “an Act to Enhance Community Safety”, won’t make Massachusetts communities safe, it will tear them apart.

Please sign a petition to the Judiciary Committee telling them to vote no on S. 2061 and to not support racial profiling:

Signing this petition will send an email directly to the inboxes of the members of the Judiciary Committee. We will follow up with the offices of key lawmakers, and we’ll present the total number of petition signatures at the hearing, tomorrow. Whatever action the Judiciary Committee chooses to take after the hearing, we’ll make sure to hold the public officials that represent us accountable.

Please sign this petition to the Judiciary Committee urging them to vote no on S. 2061:

Tell the Judiciary Committee that you don’t want to live in a Massachusetts where hardworking immigrants that infuse our communities with money are put out of work. Tell them you don’t want to live in a Massachusetts where people can’t drive a car, rent an apartment, or get an education in the only home they know just because they were born in a different country. Tell them you don’t want to live in a Massachusetts where your immigrant neighbor doesn’t report a crime to the local police for fear of getting deported.

If we don’t stand up against this, no one will. Please sign the petition against S. 2061:

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Kyle, Favianna, Roberto, Laurie, Carlos and the rest of the Team


March 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

President Obama Should Veto "Anti-Protester" Bill

From GetEQUAL:

The U.S. House and Senate have both recently passed bills that place crushing new restrictions on the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

This legislation puts new limitations in place that charge protesters with federal crimes if they protest on federal grounds, at any location in which someone protected by the Secret Service (the President, a former President, a Presidential candidate, or any number of domestic or international figures), or at any location sanctioned as being of "national significance" -- including the Democratic and Republican conventions and even the Super Bowl!

H.R. 347 and S.B. 1794 *severely* limit the ability of Americans to exercise their First Amendment rights to speech and assembly -- and destroy the long tradition of American protest. We are calling on President Obama to veto this legislation, and to stand up for those who wish to participate in the political process in deep and powerful ways.

Join me in asking President Obama to stand up for First Amendment rights and veto this bill!

You can sign the petition here:

Thank you!

The GetEQUAL team


March 2, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ninth Circuit grants en banc to reconsider Garfias-Rodriguez

The Ninth Circuit issued an order today indicating its intention to rehear/review it's prior decision en banc in Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder. As you may recall, in its prior decision the Ninth Circuit found that aliens who relied upon Acosta and Perez-Gonzales in filing adjustment of status applications could not claim a reliance interest in such relief, and that the bar could be applied retroactively.
This is great news and hopefully the en banc Court will rule otherwise or limit its application prospectively, giving hope to those who are barred under INA 212(a)(9)(C), but who were "grandfathered" under INA 245(i) and sought such relief, affirmatively, and in such reliance.
Link to the order:
Link to the original published decision:

March 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Inside the Self-Deportation Movement

Mother Jones has a new immigration issue, "Inside the Self-Deportation Movement."  It includes a feature by Paul Reyes on Alabama's immigration law, HB 56, and a profile on Kris Kobach, There is a database tracking all sorts of state-related immigration enfoprcement information.


March 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Mother Jones Profiles on Kobach, Self-Deportation, and HB 56

From Mother Jones:

Just wanted to let you know that Mother Jones' new immigration package, "Inside the Self-Deportation Movement," just went live today. We've got a great feature by Paul Reyes on Alabama's draconian law, HB 56, Suzy Khimm's short profile of legal mastermind Kris Kobach, and several charts and graphics that I put together explaining how the anti-immigration sausage gets made. (Did you know that state legislatures passed 164 restrictive immigration laws in the last two years?) Plus, there's a database tracking all sorts of state-related immigration info. Please forward/post/RT widely. Thanks!

Ian Gordon
Mother Jones
Twitter: @id_gordon


March 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "No Exception to the Rule: The Unconstitutionality of State Immigration Enforcement Laws" by PRATHEEPAN GULASEKARAM


"No Exception to the Rule: The Unconstitutionality of State Immigration Enforcement Laws" Advance: The Journal of ACS Issue Groups, Vol. 5, p. 37, Fall 2011 PRATHEEPAN GULASEKARAM, Santa Clara University School of Law.

ABSTRACT:  This issue brief presents the argument that state immigration enforcement laws, like Arizona's SB 1070, are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court's recent Whiting decision, upholding Arizona's E-Verify and business licensing law, does not not alter the analysis or conclusion with regards to broader enforcement type schemes.


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

14 Journalists Chosen for 2012 Immigration Fellowship

With immigration policy front and center in this year’s political campaigns, 14 journalists have been selected to take part in a fellowship program that challenges reporters to go beyond familiar sound bites and cover the complexities of immigration with depth and context. The 2012 Immigration in the Heartland program is being conducted by the Institute for Justice and Journalism in partnership with the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and its Institute for Research and Training.

An April 20-25 conference will feature discussions with experts, field reporting and professional workshops at Gaylord College in Norman and in Oklahoma City. Issues to be explored include the election-year debate over immigration policy, the electoral impact of immigrants, the demographics of immigration, new developments in state legislation and the effect of federal, state and local enforcement programs.

The selected journalists, from print, broadcast and online reporting sites, are:

• Graham Brewer, Oklahoma Watch

• Kate Brumback, Associated Press, Atlanta

• Cindy Carcamo, Orange County Register, Santa Ana, Calif.

• Kristen Hare, St. Louis Beacon

• Sandra Hernandez, Los Angeles Times

• Jude Joffe-Block, KNPR Nevada Public Radio, Las Vegas

• Maria Martin, freelancer, NPR and Latino USA, Antigua, Guatemala

• David Montero, Salt Lake Tribune

• Monica Ortiz Uribe, KRWG Radio, Las Cruces, N.M.

• Erica Pearson, New York Daily News

• Jeremy Redmon, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

• Edward Sifuentes, North County Times, San Diego

• Jessica Weisberg, freelancer, the Guardian (U.K.), Chicago

• Maria Zamudio, The Chicago Reporter


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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eleventh Circuit to Hear Arguments in Alabama, Georgia Immigration Enforcement Cases

Tomorrow,the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will hear oral arguments in the appeal of the district court ruling upholding most of Alabama's immigration enforcement law and a ruling striking down most of Georgia's immigration enforcement law.  For details, see here and here.

The Eleventh Circuit panel that will arguments includes Judge Charles Wilson, nominated by President Clinton, Judge Beverly Martin, nominated by President Obama, and visiting Judge Richard Voorhees, nominated by President Reagan.


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

Another Section of Arizona's SB 1070 Blocked

JACQUES BILLEAUD of Associated Press reports that a federal judge blocked police in Arizona from enforcing a section of the state's 2010 immigration enforcement law that prohibited people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor services on streets. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Wednesday that groups seeking to overturn the law will likely prevail in their claim that the day labor rules violate the First Amendment. The ban was among a handful of provisions in the law that were allowed to take effect after a July 2010 decision by Bolton halted enforcement of other, more controversial elements of the law. The Ninth Circuit affirmance of that order is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.


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

Commentary on ACUS Report on Removal Proceedings

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) draft report prepared by Lenni Benson and Russell Wheeler provides many recommendations for increasing the efficiency and quality of removal proceedings.

Here are comments:

Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program

Human Rights First

American Immigration Council


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

Immigrant Workers Want to be Paid by Mumbai Chopstix Restaurant

From Centro Presente:

Latino immigrant workers unite to demand the payment of wages from Newbury Street restaurant Mumbai Chopstix

Media Contact: Patricia Montes Centro Presente (617) 959 3108

What: Press Conference to demand payment of wages from Newbury Street restaurant,  Mumbai Chopstix

Where: Centro Presente, 17 Inner Belt Road, Somerville, MA

When: Friday, March 2 at 11:00 a.m.

BOSTON, MA -- A group of Latino immigrant workers and members of Centro Presente have united and are organizing a grassroots campaign to defend their labor rights. The workers were employed by Mumbai Chopstix located on Newbury Street in Boston. The restaurant is part of Amrik S. Pabla's One World Cuisine restaurant group which includes restaurants in Jamaica Plain, Somerville and other locales. The workers are going to file complaints to the Attorney General's office alleging nonpayment of wages and overtime. If the workers had been paid in accordance with the law, they have calculated that the wages they are owed would total more than $40,000. The workers are holding regular meetings in order to define a strategy to recover their wages, to learn about their labor rights, and to educate the general public about labor exploitation.     

"We worked hard for this restaurant, we know that it is our right to receive the full payment for the time that we worked," said Yovani Guardado, one of the affected workers.    

"It is important to recognize that the violation of labor rights is a systemic problem affecting all workers in this country and immigrant workers are even more vulnerable to this exploitation. We must also highlight that the enormous movement of immigrants to the U.S. is the result of a global economic system that exploits the rights of workers in their own countries," said Patricia Montes, Executive Director of Centro Presente

"We hope the Attorney General's office will prioritize an investigation into the employment practices of the restaurants in the One World Cuisine restaurant group. It's important to remember that the wage laws apply to the immigrant labor force. We need to organize in order to stop employers from exploiting workers who came to this country to work and support their families," said Edic Herrera, board member of Centro Presente. 


February 29, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience

Sponsored by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of the New York Public Library, the Website In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience provides interactive pages with summaries of the African-American migration patterns from the 1400s to present. The website is replete with detailed stories of African-American history coupled with references to the source documents used to recount this history.


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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A View from the Immigration Bench by Judge Dana Leigh Marks

Immigration Judge Dana Leigh Marks has written a very honest reflection on being an immigration judge in the Federal Lawyer. I had the privilege of co-counseling INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987), with her before her appointment to the bench. She has now served on the immigration bench for almost 25 years. Click here for her article.


February 28, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

USCIS Self Check Employment Eligibility

From Jack Jaggers - Community Engagement Officer

USCIS Texas Service Center

Dear Stakeholder,

This is a reminder that the USCIS Office of Public Engagement (OPE) invites you to participate in a Spanish-language engagement (Enlace), addressing the nationwide expansion of “Self-Check.” Self-Check is a voluntary, fast, free and simple online service that allows an individual to check his or her employment eligibility status.

The Enlace will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m (EST), as part of USCIS’s ongoing series of quarterly Spanish-language public engagements. Each Enlace session focuses on a specific immigration-related topic and includes a Q&A session with USCIS officials.

The event will be broadcast live from USCIS Headquarters, and stakeholders may participate via teleconference or live Web stream. During the event, a panel of representatives from USCIS’s Verification division will be available to answer questions and facilitate the discussion.

For more information or to download a flyer for this engagement please go to or click here.

To participate in the call via telephone:

Please dial: 1-888-989-4980 (password: Enlace)

Note: On the day of the engagement we recommend dialing in 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the call.

To participate via live Web stream go to:

For further information: Please contact the Office of Public Engagement at: and reference the following in the subject line of your email: March 1st - ENLACE. Please include your full name, email address, and the organization you represent.

Kind regards,

Office of Public Engagement
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)


February 28, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)