Sunday, August 12, 2018
Immigration Article of the Day: Citizenship for Sale? in The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017) by Ayelet Shachar
“There are some things that money can’t buy.” Is citizenship among them? In her contribution to the Oxford Handbook of Citizenship, Professor Shachar explores this question by highlighting the core legal and ethical puzzles associated with the surge in cash-for-passport programs. The spread of these new programs is one of the most significant developments in citizenship practice in the past few decades. It tests our deepest intuitions about the meaning and attributes of the relationship between the individual and the political community to which she belongs. This chapter identifies the main strategies employed by a growing number of states putting their visas and passports “for sale,” selectively opening their otherwise bolted gates of admission to the high-net-worth individuals of the world. Moving from the positive to the normative, the discussion then elaborates the main arguments in favor of, as well as against, citizenship-for-sale. Shachar draws attention to the distributive and political implications of these developments, both locally and globally, and identifies the deeper forces at work that contribute to the perpetual testing, blurring, and erosion of the state-market boundary regulating access to membership.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
FROM THE BOOKSHELVES: Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice. Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni Benson
Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice.
The book brings together an interdisciplinary and multinational group of experts to assess the nature and root causes of child migration in different parts of the world, featuring national and comparative case studies in Australia, Canada, Europe, the United States and parts of Asia and Africa. The contributors address systematically the many challenges experienced and posed by young people who cross borders in search of protection, or a better quality of life. Identifying the many universal issues facing states who play host to these children, the book lays the foundations for new paradigms in law, policy and practice in the reception and management of child migrants, refugees and victims of trafficking.
Topical and engaging, this book is an important resource for academics and students in human rights law; migration and refugee law; the administrative and procedural issues of refugee law, and comparative law; as well as in the social sciences and health sciences. Policymakers and workers within the community sector will also find this book stimulating and informative.
Friday, August 3, 2018
As the Trump administration continues to move toward compliance with court orders in reuniting immigrant families, Alfonso Serrano in Colorlines looks carefully at the actual progress of the reuniting thousands of immigrant children with their parents. The bottom line: "More than 700 children age 5 and older remain separated from their parents, U.S. officials say."
Friday, July 27, 2018
Here is an abstract of the book:
Throughout his presidency, John F. Kennedy was passionate about the issue of immigration reform. He believed that America is a nation of people who value both tradition and the exploration of new frontiers, people who deserve the freedom to build better lives for themselves in their adopted homeland. This modern edition of his posthumously published, timeless work—with an introduction by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and a foreword by Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League—offers the late president's inspiring suggestions for immigration policy and presents a chronology of the main events in the history of immigration in America.
As debates on immigration continue to engulf the nation, this tribute to the importance of immigrants to our nation's prominence and success is as timely as ever.
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli
A damning confrontation between the American dream and the reality of undocumented children seeking a new life in the US. Cristina Arreola in Bustle reviews the book as follows:
"In this 100-page indictment of the U.S. immigration system, Valeria Luiselli writes about time spent volunteering as a translator for unaccompanied migrant children from Central America seeking legal representation in the United States. The stories she recounts of the children who journeyed through countries and deserts alone in the hopes of being granted asylum status in the United States will break your heart and move you to action. This essay is a call-to-action that every American needs to read."
The review also suggests two other immigration books:
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Mihir Zaveri for the New York Times reports that attempts by Anne Frank’s father to escape the Nazis in Europe and travel to the United States were complicated by tight American restrictions on immigration at the time, one of a series of roadblocks that narrowed the Frank family’s options and thrust them into hiding, according to a new report released on Friday.
The research, conducted jointly by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, details the challenges faced by the Frank family and thousands of others looking to escape Europe as Nazi Germany gained strength and anti-refugee sentiment swept the United States.
Otto Frank, Anne’s father, was never outright denied an immigration visa, the report concludes, but “bureaucracy, war and time” thwarted his efforts.
Friday, July 6, 2018
The Strange by Jérôme Ruillier
The story of one undocumented immigrant’s journey, told by the people who employ him, feed him, and report on him
The Strange follows an unnamed, undocumented immigrant who tries to forge a new life in a Western country where he doesn’t speak the language. The story is deftly told through myriad viewpoints, as each narrator recounts a situation in which they crossed paths with the newly arrived foreigner. Many of the people he meets are suspicious of his unfamiliar background, or of the unusual language they do not understand. By employing this third-person narrative structure, Jérôme Ruillier masterfully portrays the complex plight of immigrants and the vulnerability of being undocumented. The Strange shows one person’s struggle to adapt while dealing with the often brutal and unforgiving attitudes of the employers, neighbors, and strangers who populate this new land.
Ruillier employs a bold visual approach of colored pencil drawings complemented by a stark, limited palette of red, orange, and green backgrounds. Its beautiful simplicity represents the almost childlike hope and promise that is often associated with new beginnings. But as he implicitly suggests, it’s a promise that can shatter at a moment’s notice when the threat of being deported is a daily and terrifying reality.
Here is a review of the book in The Guardian.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
From the Bookshelves: The New Deportations Delirium: Interdisciplinary Responses Edited by Daniel Kanstroom and M. Brinton Lykes
The New Deportations Delirium: Interdisciplinary Responses Edited by Daniel Kanstroom and M. Brinton Lykes
Since 1996, when the deportation laws were hardened, millions of migrants to the U.S., including many long-term legal permanent residents with “green cards,” have experienced summary arrest, incarceration without bail, transfer to remote detention facilities, and deportation without counsel—a life-time banishment from what is, in many cases, the only country they have ever known. U.S.-based families and communities face the loss of a worker, neighbor, spouse, parent, or child. Many of the deported are “sentenced home” to a country which they only knew as an infant, whose language they do not speak, or where a family lives in extreme poverty or indebtedness for not yet being able to pay the costs of their previous migration. But what does this actually look like and what are the systems and processes and who are the people who are enforcing deportation policies and practices? The New Deportations Delirium responds to these questions.
Taken as a whole, the volume raises consciousness about the complexities of the issues and argues for the interdisciplinary dialogue and response. Over the course of the book, deportation policy is debated by lawyers, judges, social workers, researchers, and clinical and community psychologists as well as educators, researchers, and community activists. The New Deportations Delirium presents a fresh conversation and urges a holistic response to the complex realities facing not only migrants but also the wider U.S. society in which they have sought a better life.
Here I the table of contents.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Immigration Article of the Day: Gender Violence, State Action, and Power and Control in the Northern Triangle by Lauren Gilbert
Gender Violence, State Action, and Power and Control in the Northern Triangle by Lauren Gilbert, in in Raquel Aldana & Steven Bender, eds., From Extraction to Emancipation: Development Reimagined, American Bar Association and Carolina Press, 2018.
This chapter, Gender Violence, State Action, and Power and Control in the Northern Triangle, is the concluding chapter in Raquel Aldana's and Steven Bender's edited volume, From Extraction to Emancipation: Development Reimagined, published by the American Bar Association and Carolina Press in May 2018.
Gilbert's chapter is based on her experience as an Attorney-Investigator with the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador from 1992-1993, and her more recent work on behalf of Central American women and children fleeing violence in their homelands. In this chapter, she examines the role of gendered violence directed at women in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras both during the political upheavals of the 1980s and 1990s and over the last decade, examining how the failure then to confront gender violence as a form of state-sponsored terrorism led to its role today in contributing to the climate of fear and instability that plagues the region. In light of the U.S. government's and particularly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent decisions and pronouncements gutting protection for Central American asylum seekers, it is essential that both policymakers and advocates recognize that the gendered violence that propels migration today from the Northern Triangle is connected to the dark yet largely untold history of state-sponsored violence against women in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. While Northern Triangle states as well as the U.S. government largely blame gangs for the resurgence of violence against women, this chapter shows that this new terror cannot be disentangled from these nations’ dark past with gendered state-sponsored violence.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
From the Bookshelves: Unequal Protection of the Law: The Rights of Citizens and Non-Citizens in Comparative Perspective by Richard T. Middleton, IV
Unequal Protection of the Law: The Rights of Citizens and Non-Citizens in Comparative Perspective by Richard T. Middleton, IV (West, 2018)
Unequal Protection of the Law: the Rights of Citizens and Non-Citizens in Comparative Perspective, explores the disparate allocation of legal rights of persons from a comparative, global perspective. In particular, the chapters herein canvass some of the timely, hot-topic issues relative to the legal rights of persons vis-à-vis the rights of citizens, migrants, refugees, and immigrants. In conducting a comparative analysis, the chapters elucidate how various migrant, refugee, and immigrant populations are disproportionately disadvantaged under national laws as compared to citizens within the same jurisdictions. The chapters also explicate how the disparate allocation of rights under national laws raises a number of human rights law violations. Towards this endeavor, the chapters discuss which particular international laws, treaties, declarations, and/or conventions are implicated as a result of the disparate and unequal treatment of migrants, refugees, and immigrants under law.
This book seeks to contribute important analyses and discussions on the current state of affairs relative to the rights of persons within the context of the rights of citizens vis-à-vis non-citizens (migrants, refugees and immigrants). In shedding light on how various migrant, immigrant and refugee populations are disproportionately disadvantaged under national laws as compared to citizens within the same jurisdictions, the chapters will raise general awareness of the differences in legal standing of people before the law. Students and scholars alike will gain exposure to timely international issues of civil rights and human rights – which can inform and guide the creation of norms relative to the rights all persons should enjoy as well as foment a greater awareness of the issue of legal rights within civil society. This book seeks to contribute scholarly discourse to the extant literature on citizenship and migration – and particularly – the interface of these two concepts. Lastly, this books aims to serve as a resource for students, scholars, practitioners, and even those with a casual interest, who seek a deeper understanding of some of the prevailing issues relative to the (dis)equal protection of laws throughout the globe.
Collectively, the chapters in this book weave together a mosaic of case-studies and narratives that poignantly illustrate the disparate allocation of legal rights of persons from a comparative, global perspective. The chapters also make a strong case for why we should care about the rights of persons; about why we should care about human rights.
Richard T. Middleton, IV, editor and contributor, is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Middleton is also an adjunct professor of law at St. Louis University School of Law where he teaches courses on immigration law and citizenship, social justice and human rights. He is also a licensed attorney who has practiced immigration law for many years.
Monday, June 11, 2018
From the Bookshelves: Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together by Andrew Selee
Wall or no wall, deeply intertwined social, economic, business, cultural, and personal relationships mean the US-Mexico border is more like a seam than a barrier, weaving together two economies and cultures.
Mexico faces huge crime and corruption problems, but its remarkable transformation over the past two decades has made it a more educated, prosperous, and innovative nation than most Americans realize. Through portraits of business leaders, migrants, chefs, movie directors, police officers, and media and sports executives, Andrew Selee looks at this emerging Mexico, showing how it increasingly influences our daily lives in the United States in surprising ways--the jobs we do, the goods we consume, and even the new technology and entertainment we enjoy.
From the Mexican entrepreneur in Missouri who saved the US nail industry, to the city leaders who were visionary enough to build a bridge over the border fence so the people of San Diego and Tijuana could share a single international airport, to the connections between innovators in Mexico's emerging tech hub in Guadalajara and those in Silicon Valley, Mexicans and Americans together have been creating productive connections that now blur the boundaries that once separated us from each other.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
From the Bookshelves: HISPANICS IN THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Ethnicity, Ideology, and Social Control (Second Edition) by Martin Guevara Urbina and Sofía Espinoza Álvarez
HISPANICS IN THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Ethnicity, Ideology, and Social Control (Second Edition) by Martin Guevara Urbina and Sofía Espinoza Álvarez Published 2018
This updated and expanded new edition resumes the theme of the first edition, and the findings reveal that race, ethnicity, gender, class, and several other variables continue to play a significant and consequential role in the legal decision-making process. The book is structured into three sections, each of which corresponds to a different body of work on Latinos. Section One explores the historical dynamics and influence of ethnicity in law enforcement, and focuses on how ethnicity impacts policing field practices, such as traffic stops, use of force, and the subsequent actions that police departments have employed to alleviate these problems. A detailed examination of critical issues facing Latino defendants seeks to better understand the law enforcement process. The history of immigration laws as it pertains to Mexicans and Latinos explains how Mexicans have been excluded from the United States through anti-immigrant legislation. Latino officers must cope with structural and political issues, the community, and media, as these practices and experiences within the American police system are explored. Section Two focuses on the repressive practices against Mexicans that resulted in executions, vigilantism, and mass expulsions. The topic of Latinos and the Fourth Amendment reveals that the constitutional right of people to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures has been eviscerated for Latinos, and particularly for Mexicans. Possible remedies to existing shortcomings of the court system when processing indigent defendants are presented. Section Three studies the issue of Hispanics and the penal system. The ethnic realities of life behind bars, probation and parole, the legacy of capital punishment, and life after prison are discussed. Section Four addresses the globalization of Latinos, social control, and the future of Latinos in the U.S. Criminal justice system. Lastly, the race and ethnic experience through the lens of science, law, and the American imagination, are explored, concluding with policy recommendations for social and criminal justice reform, and ultimately humanizing differences. Written for professionals and students of law enforcement, this book will promote the understanding of the historical legacy of brutality, manipulation, oppression, marginalization, prejudice, discrimination, power and control, and white America's continued fear about racial and ethnic minorities.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
From the Bookshelves: BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENS: A HISTORY OF RACE AND RIGHTS IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA by Martha S. Jones
As former slaves struggled to become citizens, they redefined citizenship for all Americans. Birthright Citizens is their story. Coming June 30, 2018 from Cambridge University Press and the Studies in Legal History series.
Birthright Citizens tells how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans. Before the Civil War, colonization schemes and black laws threatened to deport former slaves born in the United States. Birthright Citizens recovers the story of how African American activists remade national belonging through battles in legislatures, conventions, and courthouses. They faced formidable opposition, most notoriously from the US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott. Still, Martha Jones explains, no single case defined their status. Former slaves studied law, secured allies, and conducted themselves like citizens, establishing their status through local, everyday claims. All along they argued that birth guaranteed their rights. With fresh archival sources and an ambitious reframing of constitutional law-making before the Civil War, Jones shows how the Fourteenth Amendment constitutionalized the birthright principle, fulfilling the long-held aspirations of African Americans.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Wartime Los Angeles's Sleepy Lagoon Murder & Zoot Suit Riots w/ Eduardo Pagán - A True Crime History Podcast
I ran across this compelling podcast that offers a brief summary of a famous episode in Chicana/o history. Most Notorious! A True Crime History Podcast looks at two famous events in early 1940s Los Angeles that grabbed newspaper headlines: the murder of Jose Diaz and following trial of 22 boys, and the race riots between American sailors and zoot-suit wearing Mexican-American kids in downtown Los Angeles. Eduardo Obregón Pagán, a professor at Arizona State University. talks about his book, "Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A."
Monday, May 7, 2018
From the Bookshelves: From Extraction to Emancipation Development Reimagined by Raquel Aldana and Steven W. Bender
Growing out of a site visit to Guatemala in the summer of 2015 and a follow-up conference, Raquel Aldana and Steven Bender, editors, have produced an edited volume that considers Guatemala as a case study to examine broad global themes arising from development practices in emerging economies around the world, including the final theme of migration and development. The book includes chapters by fourteen scholars from the North and South, including Raquel Aldana, Steven Bender, Karrigan Börk, Julie Davies, Patrícia Ferreira, Lauren Gilbert, Christian Gonzalez, Beto Juarez, Mario Mancilla, Marcia Narine Weldon, Blake Nordahl, Mario Peña Chacon, Rachael Salcido and Maria Antonia Tigre.
A significant economic development strategy of emerging economies has involved the promotion of direct foreign investment and trade. While these practices have promoted steady economic growth, the book offers important lessons to investors and policy makers on strategies to improve distributional justice and respect for the rule of law. A large focus of the book is on enhancing corporate social responsibility, recognizing the unwillingness or inability of failed democracies to regulate industry’s potential ill effects on the environment and people, and in particular indigenous peoples who comprise a significant part of Guatemala’s population and are disproportionately poor. The book also examines such global themes as climate change, labor regimes in the context of trade, and forced migration (mostly from indigenous communities), all of which have transborder implications and across-border commonalities.
Part V of the book looks at the phenomena of migration and development. The recent surge of Central American unaccompanied minors and children fleeing with their mothers to the United States made it imperative to confront the human face of migrants whose fates are rooted in the dire reality that the countries from which they flee cannot or will not protect them. Largely, these migrants are escaping violence perpetuated by private actors, at times by gang members or even their own parents or spouses. Their stories of flight cannot be disengaged from the broader context in which the violence occurs. Theirs is also the story of failed nations, characterized by ineptitude, weakness and, even worse, indifference or at times even complicity. This story of failed nations applies beyond the reign of private “rogues” whom everyone agrees are bad actors (gangs, drug traffickers, violent criminals). The other side of the coin is a more nuanced story about the failing role of some of these Central American nations in regulating the acts of corporations, whether owned by the oligarchy or operated by transnational actors.
Blake Nordahl’s chapter, for example, narrates Evelia’s story. Evelia, like many other Central American asylum seekers, won her case based on a compelling story of domestic violence. Nordahl’s trip to Guatemala to study Evelia’s prior life in rural Guatemala, however, revealed to him and to readers a more complex entangled story of privatized violence that includes the historical and modern exploitation of people at the hands of Guatemala’s sugar industry. This carefully documented chapter makes a compelling case to move our own asylum and refugee laws beyond simple stories of individualized violence and to recognize the so-called “economic refugees” from nations like Guatemala as victims of a structural persecution that also involves collusion between the state and corporations.
Lauren Gilbert’s chapter connects Guatemala’s story of migration and violence to both the past and the present— the civil war years to now—and to the licit and illicit actors who exploit them. Her concluding chapter examines the role of gendered violence directed at women in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras both during the political upheavals of the 1980s and 1990s and over the last decade, examining how the failure then to confront gender violence as a form of state-sponsored terrorism led to its role today in contributing to the climate of fear and instability that plagues the region. The gendered violence that propels migration today from the Northern Triangle is connected to this dark yet largely untold history. Today, the levels of violence in these countries match or surpass those during wartime. While today, Northern Triangle states largely blame private actors (e.g., gangs) for the resurgence of violence directed at women, Gilbert’s chapter shows that this new terror cannot be disentangled from these nations’ dark past with gendered state-sponsored violence.
In the end, both Nordahl and Gilbert look to international norms as part of the solution. Nordahl acknowledges that permanent solutions to Guatemala’s structural violence are largely a Guatemala project. However, he also documents that for the past twenty years Guatemala’s feeble attempts at land reforms and poverty alleviation through multiple policies have been largely inadequate. Thus, at least for now, Nordahl makes a compelling case that more expansive notions of persecution must be adopted as part of refugee law to recognize economic exploitation as persecution. For her part, Gilbert sees hope in international law’s evolution in recognizing gendered violence, a significant shift from when she worked as a UN Truth Commission lawyer in El Salvador more than twenty-five years ago. This new visibility and naming of gendered violence is an important first step to counter practices, including in the United States, of turning our backs on persecuted women and girls.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
From the Bookshelves: Undocumented: Immigration and the Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border by John Moore
Saturday, April 28, 2018
"The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a six-acre site that overlooks Montgomery, the state capital. It uses sculpture, art and design to give visitors a sense of the terror of lynching as they walk through a memorial square with 800 six-foot steel columns that symbolize the victims. The names of thousands of victims are engraved on columns – one for each county in the United States where a lynching took place. In Alabama alone, a reported total of 275 lynchings took place between 1871 and 1920.
U.S. history books and documentaries that tell the story of lynching in the U.S. have focused on black male victims, to the exclusion of women. But women, too, were lynched – and many raped beforehand. In my book “Gender and Lynching,” I sought to tell the stories of these women and why they have been left out."
Here is a NPR report on the new memorial.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
From the Bookshelves: The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Welcome to the New World is an editorial cartoon series in 20 parts. It tells the story of two refugee families from Syria who are resettled in the United States. It's based on real life experiences and months of reporting by the NYT. The paper won a Pulitzer for the series this year in the area of Editorial Cartooning.
Monday, April 9, 2018