Thursday, October 18, 2018

Expert Witnesses in U.S. Asylum Cases: A HANDBOOK

Expert Witnesses in U.S. Asylum Cases by Kelcey Baker, Katherine Freeman, Gigi Warner, and Professor Deborah M. Weissman 2018

This handbook provides guidance for anyone considering serving as an expert witness in an asylum case, as well as best practices for immigration attorneys working with expert witnesses in asylum cases.


October 18, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Deporter in Chief: Obama v. Trump by Bill Ong Hing


"Deporter-in-Chief: Obama v. Trump" by Bill Ong Hing, Cambridge Univ. Press; Dec. 2018, Forthcoming


President Barack Obama was dubbed “Deporter-in-Chief” by immigrant rights advocates for good reason. During his eight years in office, his administration formally removed more than three million noncitizens, compared to two million during George W. Bush’s tenure and about 900,000 under the Bill Clinton administration. At the time he left office, Obama was definitely the reigning Deportation Champion.

Enter Donald Trump. Given the immigration enforcement exploits of President Trump and his administration, Obama’s clutch on the title of “Deporter-in-Chief” is in serious jeopardy. In spite of court actions constraining Trump’s travel ban and Congress’s hesitance to fund the construction of a border wall or a deportation army, Trump’s enforcement henchmen have initiated a frightening deportation campaign with resources that were already in place. Interior enforcement is up, and his threat to local law enforcement officials to take away federal funds if they refuse to cooperate is working. Between his tweeting and the unleashing of mean-spirited Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, noncitizens in the country are scared as hell. Trump is easily on his way to yanking the deportation champ moniker away from Obama.

A central focus of this book is on an important segment of Obama’s removal priority at the border that helped him earn the Deporter-in-Chief title—the apprehension, detention, and removal prioritization of women and children fleeing violence in Central America. In my view, those efforts were reprehensible and cast a dark shadow on Obama’s legacy, even though he took some remarkably courageous steps on behalf of immigrants as well. He deserves credit for DACA, however, Obama’s policy on women and children fleeing Central America has visited great and unnecessary hardship and trauma on migrants victimized by violence.

I was moved to develop this project because the story needs to be told about what in my view is a tragic mistake in so-called immigration enforcement—a mistake that began at the hands of President Barak Obama. While much of the migrant rights community’s attention understandably has been focused nationally on the escalation of immigration enforcement under Donald Trump and internationally on the serious refugee crises like those involving Syrians and the Rohingya, our own humanitarian crisis in this hemisphere has been grossly mishandled starting long before President Trump took office.

While the project began as an effort to shed light on the dark side of Barack Obama’s immigration legacy, the evolution to a more comparative work given Donald Trump’s no-holds-barred harsh immigration enforcement strategies was necessary. His full court attack on immigrants—from Mexicans, to Muslims and those who would be regarded as “low priority” by Obama—has been constant. There is no denying that immigrants and their advocates are constantly on call under Trump.


October 16, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam (2018)

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Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam (2018)

For too long, liberals have suggested that only cruel, racist, or nativist bigots would want to restrict immigration. Anyone motivated by compassion and egalitarianism would choose open, or nearly-open, borders—or so the argument goes. Now, Reihan Salam, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, turns this argument on its head. In this deeply researched but also deeply personal book, Salam shows why uncontrolled immigration is bad for everyone, including people like his family. Our current system has intensified the isolation of our native poor, and risks ghettoizing the children of poor immigrants. It ignores the challenges posed by the declining demand for less-skilled labor, even as it exacerbates ethnic inequality and deepens our political divides. If we continue on our current course, in which immigration policy serves wealthy insiders who profit from cheap labor, and cosmopolitan extremists attack the legitimacy of borders, the rise of a new ethnic underclass is inevitable. Even more so than now, class politics will be ethnic politics, and national unity will be impossible. Salam offers a solution, if we have the courage to break with the past and craft an immigration policy that serves our long-term national interests. Rejecting both militant multiculturalism and white identity politics, he argues that limiting total immigration and favoring skilled immigrants will combat rising inequality, balance diversity with assimilation, and foster a new nationalism that puts the interests of all Americans—native-born and foreign-born—first.

For an interview with the author about the book, click here.


October 16, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

From the Bookshelves: American Hate: Survivors Speak Out. Edited by Arjun Singh Sethi


American Hate Survivors Speak Out.  Edited by Arjun Singh Sethi

A moving and timely collection of testimonials from people impacted by hate before and after the 2016 presidential election

“Why am I in this country now? Should I move elsewhere? Do I want to raise my kids in this country, where hate is so visible and rampant? I’ve been in this fight for decades, but even I struggle. Deep down, though, I know we need to stay the course and continue the fight.” —Marwan Kreidie, after a pig’s head was thrown at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society Mosque in Philadelphia

In American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, Arjun Singh Sethi, a community activist and civil rights lawyer, chronicles the stories of individuals affected by hate. In a series of powerful, unfiltered testimonials, survivors tell their stories in their own words and describe how the bigoted rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have intensified bullying, discrimination, and even violence toward them and their communities.

We hear from the family of Khalid Jabara, who was murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in August 2016 by a man who had previously harassed and threatened them because they were Arab American. Sethi brings us the story of Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four who took sanctuary in a Denver church in February 2017 because she feared deportation under Trump’s cruel immigration enforcement regime. Sethi interviews Taylor Dumpson, a young black woman who was elected student body president at American University only to find nooses hanging across campus on her first day in office. We hear from many more people impacted by the Trump administration, including Native, black, Arab, Latinx, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, undocumented, refugee, transgender, queer, and people with disabilities.

A necessary book for these times, American Hate explores this tragic moment in U.S. history by empowering survivors whose voices white supremacists and right-wing populist movements have tried to silence. It also provides ideas and practices for resistance that all of us can take to combat hate both now and in the future.


October 3, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers

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Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers (Crown 2018)


The deeply reported story of one indelible family transplanted from rural China to New York City, forging a life between two worlds

In 2014, in a snow-covered house in Flushing, Queens, a village revolutionary from Southern China considered his options. Zhuang Liehong was the son of a fisherman, the former owner of a small tea shop, and the spark that had sent his village into an uproar—pitting residents against a corrupt local government. Under the alias Patriot Number One, he had stoked a series of pro-democracy protests, hoping to change his home for the better. Instead, sensing an impending crackdown, Zhuang and his wife, Little Yan, left their infant son with relatives and traveled to America. With few contacts and only a shaky grasp of English, they had to start from scratch.

Patriot Number One, Hilgers follows this dauntless family through a world hidden in plain sight: a byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground asylum brokers and illegal dormitories that Flushing’s Chinese community relies on for survival. As the irrepressibly opinionated Zhuang and the more pragmatic Little Yan pursue legal status and struggle to reunite with their son, we also meet others piecing together a new life in Flushing. Tang, a democracy activist who was caught up in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, is still dedicated to his cause after more than a decade in exile. Karen, a college graduate whose mother imagined a bold American life for her, works part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school, and refuses to look backward.

With a novelist’s eye for character and detail, Hilgers captures the joys and indignities of building a life in a new country—and the stubborn allure of the American dream.


September 29, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 21, 2018

From The Bookshelves: Melting Pot or Civil War?

Reihan Salam, photo by Larry D. Moore

Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders is a forthcoming book (Sept. 25 release date) by National Review executive editor Reihan Salam.

The Wall Street Journal has an excerpt from the book and it's quite the read.

Salam is a member of the second-generation, the child of immigrants from Bangladesh. Salam confronts the "ways that rapid demographic change has affected America’s political psyche."

Here is the first eye-popping paragraph: "we need to recognize that the immigration debate isn’t really about immigrants. In truth, it’s about the children of immigrants."

Salam notes that if the U.S. implemented a guest worker program for single individuals with high skill levels, something akin to programs in Singapore or Qatar, immigration wouldn't be a hot button issue. "But that’s not how America works," Salam writes. "If we welcome you in as part of the flock, we also welcome your offspring." 

So, if the immigration debate is about the children of immigrants, and fears that those children will outnumber the children of "natives," what should be done? Salam argues that "The key to averting a civil war over immigration is for the U.S. to do everything in its power to make sure that the children of natives and the children of immigrants alike are incorporated into a common national identity and, just as importantly, that they’re in a position to lead healthy and productive lives as adults. We need, in short, to make America a middle-class melting pot."

How does he propose doing this? He has three steps. First, "the key policy priority has to be integration, as opposed to opening our borders. This would mean, in the first place, an amnesty for the long-settled unauthorized immigrant population."

Second, "This amnesty must be contingent, however, on the adoption of a more selective, skills-based immigration system. The U.S. needs to give priority to the earning potential of applicants over their family ties, thus breaking with our current approach. Doing so will help to ensure that new arrivals are in a position to thrive in a changing U.S. labor market and that they can provide for their children without relying on programs meant to help the poorest of the American poor, not those who have chosen to make their homes here."

"Finally, and most important, we must invest the time and money it will take to ensure that all of America’s youth can grow up to lead decent lives. If that means higher taxes on the high-income professionals who have profited so mightily from immigrant labor, so be it."



September 21, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

From The Bookshelves: Dear America

Dear America

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen is the new autobiography by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and America's most famous undocumented migrant Jose Antonio Vargas.

Jose describes the book as about:

...homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home.

Time has an excerpt from the book and is is riveting. It describes the moment when Jose appeared on Fox News alongside a woman whose son was killed by an undocumented individual.

The woman, Laura Wilkerson, told Jose "It's up to you to get in line and become an American citizen." Jose responded "there is no line for be to get in the back of." But Wilkerson didn't listen, she repeated that Jose needed to get in line. At which point Jose writes: "I wanted to scream, over and over again: THERE IS NO LINE! THERE IS NO LINE! THERE IS NO LINE!"

Jose will be doing a book tour. Here is a list of the dates and locations.


September 19, 2018 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Send Them Back by Irwin P. Stotzky


Send Them Back by Irwin P. Stotzky (2018)

Send Them Back tells part of the story of a remarkable attempt, which spanned four decades, to bring the rule of law to refugees from the troubled nation of Haiti. It discusses several of the cases that civil rights lawyers, working directly with Haitians and other activists, filed and litigated for Haitian refugees, and the legal, social, and political aspects of such litigation. The litigation fostered structural legal changes, policies meant to cure the inequities in the treatment of refugees, and a determined political opposition to unfair and illegal immigration decisions. 



September 16, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Refugee Law and Policy: A Comparative and International Approach by Karen Musalo, Jennifer Moore, Richard A. Boswell, Annie Daher (fifth edition 2018)


Refugee Law and Policy:  A Comparative and International Approach by Karen Musalo, Jennifer Moore, Richard A. Boswell, Annie Daher (fifth edition 2018).

The fifth edition of Refugee Law and Policy, which reviews legal developments through early 2018, provides a thoughtful scholarly analysis of refugee law and related protections such as those available under the Convention against Torture. The book is rooted in an international law perspective and enhanced by a comparative approach. Starting with ancient precursors to asylum, the casebook portrays refugee law as dynamic across time and cultural contexts.

Although Refugee Law and Policy is directed toward students of US law, it draws on the legislation, jurisprudence and guidelines of other Refugee Convention and Protocol signatories, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The casebook is up to date on developments to harmonize refugee policy within the European Union, and includes discussion of relevant EU directives. Refugee Law and Policy also compares current trends in refugee law to parallel trends in human rights and humanitarian and international criminal law. In its treatment of both US and global trends, Refugee Law and Policy examines some of the most controversial contemporary issues in refugee law. This edition incorporates discussion of reforms and developments stemming from 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the increase or “surge” in refugees entering the US as a result of rising violence in the northern triangle countries (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala) of Central America over the last decade. It expands its focus on the denial of access to the territory of the country of asylum through use of interdiction, as well as expedited removal and similar “accelerated” procedures. It also discusses punitive measures intended to deter asylum seekers, such as the increased use of detention. 

Refugee Law and Policy also carefully examines developments in the substantive interpretation of asylum claims. This edition includes substantial materials on the cutting-edge area of social group claims and their relevance to claims for protection based on gender-based persecution and LGBT status, as well as in the context of claims based on fear of gangs. It includes an extensive discussion of the “social distinction” and “particularity” requirements, which have had a significant impact on the scope of protection. Since the casebook addresses both substance and procedure, with a focus on practice as well as theory, it is an excellent text not only for students, but for practitioners and those in government agencies as well. 


September 15, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 14, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Immigration and Nationality Law: Cases and Materials by Richard A. Boswell (5th edition 2018)


Immigration and Nationality Law:  Cases and Materials Fifth Edition by Richard A. Boswell 2018 | 952 pp |

Teacher's Manual available

The fifth edition of Immigration and Nationality Law provides both a practical and theoretical framework for understanding the issues and procedural rules which constitute current US immigration law. The book covers all aspects of what is commonly regarded as immigration and nationality law, covering immigrant rights, citizenship, expatriation, inadmissibility, deportability, removal, waivers, relief from removal, asylum and refugees, nonimmigrant visas, and acquisition and loss of permanent residency. All of this is approached from both a substantive and procedural context, using problems and flow charts to help the student or new practitioner to more easily grasp this complicated subject matter. The fifth edition has been significantly revised and incorporates case law and developments through December 2017 including the Travel Ban, DACA, and sanctuary city litigation. Since the book addresses both substance and procedure, with a focus on practice as well as theory, it is an excellent text not only for students, but for practitioners and those in government agencies. Immigration and Nationality Law also includes a dynamic Teacher’s Manual which summarizes the cases providing additional questions and problems that can be used by the instructor. View the Table of Contents and more! Request an examination copy!


September 14, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Picture Books Tell Children the Harsh Stories of Migrants and Refugees

Monica Edinger for the New York Times reports on the increase in picture books on the migration and refugee experience.  "Whether they are nostalgic reveries of those who came long ago to this nation of immigrants, or the brutal nightmares of worldwide millions fleeing war, violence and persecution today, memories of migration matter. Telling these stories seems more important than ever — even, and some might say especially, to children. A wave of picture books has arrived to help with this difficult task."

Dress and girl

From “The Dress and the Girl.”


September 3, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 31, 2018

From the Bookshelves: In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers by Bernice Yeung


An acclaimed journalist investigates sexual assault against the invisible workers who are an essential part of the #metoo and #timesup movements

Apple orchards in bucolic Washington State. Office parks in Southern California under cover of night. The home of an elderly man in Miami. These are some of the workplaces where female workers have suffered brutal sexual assault and shocking harassment at the hands of their employers, often with little or no official recourse. In this harrowing yet often inspiring tale, investigative journalist Bernice Yeung exposes the epidemic of sexual violence levied against women farmworkers, domestic workers, and janitorial workers and charts their quest for justice in the workplace.

Yeung takes readers on a journey across the country, introducing us to women who came to America to escape grinding poverty only to encounter sexual violence in the United States. In a Day’s Work exposes the underbelly of economies filled with employers who take advantage of immigrant women’s need to earn a basic living. When these women find the courage to speak up, Yeung reveals, they are too often met by apathetic bosses and underresourced government agencies. But In a Day’s Work also tells a story of resistance, introducing a group of courageous allies who challenge dangerous and discriminatory workplace conditions alongside aggrieved workers—and win. Moving and inspiring, this book will change our understanding of the lives of immigrant women.


August 31, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration by Alfredo Corchando



Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration by Alfredo Corchado (2018)

From prizewinning journalist and immigration expert Alfredo Corchado comes the sweeping story of the great Mexican migration from the late 1980s to today.

When Alfredo Corchado moved to Philadelphia in 1987, he felt as if he was the only Mexican in the city. But in a restaurant called Tequilas, he connected with two other Mexican men and one Mexican American, all feeling similarly isolated. Over the next three decades, the four friends continued to meet, coming together over their shared Mexican roots and their love of tequila. One was a radical activist, another a restaurant/tequila entrepreneur, the third a lawyer/politician. Alfredo himself was a young reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Homelands merges the political and the personal, telling the story of the last great Mexican migration through the eyes of four friends at a time when the Mexican population in the United States swelled from 700,000 people during the 1970s to more than 35 million people today. It is the narrative of the United States in a painful economic and political transition.

As we move into a divisive, nativist new era of immigration politics, Homelands is a must-read to understand the past and future of the immigrant story in the United States, and the role of Mexicans in shaping America's history. A deeply moving book full of colorful characters searching for home, it is essential reading.


August 30, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

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


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.


August 12, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

FROM THE BOOKSHELVES: Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice. Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni Benson


Protecting Migrant ChildrenIn Search of Best Practice.  Edited by Mary Crock, Professor of Public Law, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, Australia and Lenni Benson, Professor of Law, New York Law School, US

Unprecedented numbers of children are crossing international borders seeking safety. Framed around compelling case studies explaining why children are on the move in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania, this book explores the jurisprudence and processes used by nations to adjudicate children’s protection claims. The book includes contributions from leading scholars in immigration, refugee law, children’s rights and human trafficking which critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of international and domestic laws with the aim of identifying best practice for migrant children.
With unprecedented numbers of children on the move in search of safety, Protecting Migrant Children explores the complex legal and human rights issues that arise when children cross borders as migrants. It critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of international and domestic laws with the aim of identifying best practice for migrant children.

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.                           

August 7, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Immigrant Family Reunification By The Numbers


Protesters and their children participate in a sit-in in the Hart Senate Office Building to mark the court-ordered deadline for the Trump Administration to reunify thousands of families separated at the border July 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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."


August 3, 2018 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 27, 2018

From the Bookshelves: John F. Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants (60th Anniversary)

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President John F. Kennedy’s A Nation of Immigrants” celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The book was published in 1958, when Kennedy was a Senator.

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.


July 27, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

From the Bookshelves: Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli

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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:  

 In The Country We Love' by Diane Guerrero

The Line Becomes A River by Francisco Cantú


July 22, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Anne Frank’s Family Was Thwarted by United States Immigration Rules, New Research Shows

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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.


July 7, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 6, 2018

From the Bookshelves: The Strange by Jérôme Ruillier

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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.



July 6, 2018 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)