Sunday, March 6, 2016

From the Bookshelves: The Integration of Immigrants into American Societyby Mary Waters and Marisa Gerstein Pineau, editors (2015)


The Integration of Immigrants into American Society by Mary Waters and Marisa Gerstein Pineau, editors.  National Academy Press, 2015

The United States prides itself on being a nation of immigrants, and the country has a long history of successfully absorbing people from across the globe. The integration of immigrants and their children contributes to our economic vitality and our vibrant and ever changing culture. We have offered opportunities to immigrants and their children to better themselves and to be fully incorporated into our society and in exchange immigrants have become Americans - embracing an American identity and citizenship, protecting our country through service in our military, fostering technological innovation, harvesting its crops, and enriching everything from the nation's cuisine to its universities, music, and art.

Today, the 41 million immigrants in the United States represent 13.1 percent of the U.S. population. The U.S.-born children of immigrants, the second generation, represent another 37.1 million people, or 12 percent of the population. Thus, together the first and second generations account for one out of four members of the U.S. population. Whether they are successfully integrating is therefore a pressing and important question. Are new immigrants and their children being well integrated into American society, within and across generations? Do current policies and practices facilitate their integration? How is American society being transformed by the millions of immigrants who have arrived in recent decades?

To answer these questions, this new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine summarizes what we know about how immigrants and their descendants are integrating into American society in a range of areas such as education, occupations, health, and language.


March 6, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Making Immigrant Rights Real Nonprofits and the Politics of Integration in San Francisco by Els de Graauw


Making Immigrant Rights Real Nonprofits and the Politics of Integration in San Francisco by Els de Graauw, Cornell University Press, Hardcover, Coming soon

More than half of the 41 million foreign-born individuals in the United States today are noncitizens, half have difficulty with English, a quarter are undocumented, and many are poor. As a result, most immigrants have few opportunities to make their voices heard in the political process. Nonprofits in many cities have stepped into this gap to promote the integration of disadvantaged immigrants. They have done so despite notable constraints on their political activities, including limits on their lobbying and partisan electioneering, limited organizational resources, and dependence on government funding. Immigrant rights advocates also operate in a national context focused on immigration enforcement rather than immigrant integration. In Making Immigrant Rights Real, Els de Graauw examines how immigrant-serving nonprofits can make impressive policy gains despite these limitations.

Drawing on three case studies of immigrant rights policies—language access, labor rights, and municipal ID cards—in San Francisco, de Graauw develops a tripartite model of advocacy strategies that nonprofits have used to propose, enact, and implement immigrant-friendly policies: administrative advocacy, cross-sectoral and cross-organizational collaborations, and strategic issue framing. The inventive development and deployment of these strategies enabled immigrant-serving nonprofits in San Francisco to secure some remarkable new immigrant rights victories, and de Graauw explores how other cities can learn from their experiences.


March 2, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Crossing the Line: A Marriage Across Borders by Linda Valdez


Crossing the Line: A Marriage Across Borders  by Linda Valdez

Not a typical immigration story, Crossing the Line is told by a middle-class American woman who falls in love with the son of an impoverished family from rural Mexico—a man who crosses the border illegally to be with her.

Married in 1988, Linda and Sixto Valdez learn to love each other’s very different families and cultures, raising their child to walk proudly in both worlds.

Revealing the tragedies and ultimately the triumphs that emerge when two families living on different sides of the border come together, Crossing the Line cuts through the fears and preconceptions that fuel the continuing political turmoil over immigration. It is a story America needs to hear. 

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2003, Linda Valdez is a columnist and editorial writer at the Arizona Republic/ She has written extensively about immigration and border issues. Her commentary opposing Arizona’s infamous anti-immigration laws earned her the Scripps Howard Walker Stone Award for editorial writing in 2011.


February 24, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Four Books Immigration Policy Makers Should Read

Janny Gandhi

Janny Gandhi, a current OU College of Law 1L, outlined a reading list for immigration policymakers back in 2014.

Her picks include:

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave (a work of fiction "about the intertwining lives of a British woman and a Nigerian girl... [who] is a refugee forced to reside in a British immigration detention center.")
  • Brother I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat (the "memoir of the niece of Joseph Danticat, an eighty-one-year-old Haitian minister who died after DHS authorities at a Florida detention center denied him medical treatment.")

It's clearly time to fire up those Kindles and hunker down with a good book.


February 2, 2016 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Books on the Economic Impacts of Immigration

Saturday, January 23, 2016

From the Bookshelves: The Law and Higher Education: Cases and Materials on Colleges in Court, Fourth Edition by Michael A. Olivas and Amy Gajda


The Law and Higher Education: Cases and Materials on Colleges in Court, Fourth Edition by Michael A. Olivas and Amy Gajda

Now in its fourth edition, this book reflects the extraordinary growth in the law of higher education and the accompanying rise in scholarship and commentary on higher education law and governance. The case selection reflects major themes and issues. To this end, cases with interesting facts, news accounts of fascinating developments, and insights and articles from scholars and practitioners have also been used. The result is a unique book on a rapidly growing area of law and society. It is the most established and widely adopted casebook in the field. Updated with recent court cases and statutes, it can be used in law schools, in colleges of education, or in professional courses.

Michael Olivas, one of the so-authors, also is an influential immigration law scholar.


January 23, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco by Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr.


Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco by Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr.

Born in an explosive boom and built through distinct economic networks, San Francisco has a cosmopolitan character that often masks the challenges migrants faced to create community in the city by the bay. Latin American migrants have been part of the city's story since its beginning. Charting the development of a hybrid Latino identity forged through struggle--latinidad--from the Gold Rush through the civil rights era, Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr. chronicles the rise of San Francisco's diverse community of Latin American migrants.

This latinidad, Summers Sandoval shows, was formed and made visible on college campuses and in churches, neighborhoods, movements for change, youth groups, protests, the Spanish-language press, and business districts. Using diverse archival sources, Summers Sandoval gives readers a panoramic perspective on the transformation of a multinational, multigenerational population into a visible, cohesive, and diverse community that today is a major force for social and political activism and cultural production in California and beyond.



January 12, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 11, 2016

From the Bookshelves: Human Trafficking by Cheryl Taylor Page, Robert William Piatt, Jr.



Human Trafficking by Cheryl Taylor Page, Robert William Piatt, Jr. Forthcoming March 2016

Human Trafficking explores the legal, moral, and political attempts to contain sex and labor trafficking. The authors bring unique perspectives to these topics. Professor Page, an African-American woman all too familiar with the vestiges of slavery, has written and lectured internationally on trafficking. Professor Piatt, a Hispanic law professor and former law school dean, brings his international experience as an educator, author, and advocate regarding immigration and human rights matters to bear. The book considers efforts at containment, including controversial topics such as whether prostitution should be legalized. It concludes with specific approaches to eliminate trafficking.


January 11, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Cultural Defense of Nations: A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights by Liav Orgad


 The Cultural Defense of Nations:  A Liberal Theory of Majority Rights

Liav Orgad

The changing patterns of contemporary immigration have initiated a new form of majority nationalism. In recent years, liberal democracies have introduced immigration and citizenship policies that are designed to defend the majority culture. This trend is fed by fears of immigration-some justified, some paranoid-which explain the rise of extreme right-wing parties in the West. Liberal theory and human rights law seem to be out of sync with these developments. While they recognize the rights of minority groups to maintain their cultural identity, it is typically assumed that majority groups have neither a need for similar rights nor a moral basis for defending them. The majority culture, so the argument goes, "can take care of itself." This singular book shifts the focus from the prevailing discussion of minority rights and, for the first time, directly addresses the cultural rights of majorities. The findings reveal a troubling trend in liberal democracies, which, ironically, in order to protect liberal values, violate the very same values. The book criticizes this state of affairs and presents a liberal theory of cultural defense that distinguishes between justifiable and unjustifiable attempts by majorities to protect their cultural essentials. It formulates liberal standards by which liberal states can welcome immigrants without fundamentally changing their cultural heritage, forsaking their liberal traditions, or slipping into extreme nationalism.

The Cultural Defense of Nations presents a timely, thought-provoking thesis on one of the most pressing issues of our time-immigrants, majority groups, and national identity.


December 29, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Refugee of the Day: Valentino Achak Deng (South Sudan)


 Valentino Achak Deng, Co-founder of the Valentino Achak Deng (VAD) Foundation

Valentino Deng was born in Marial Bai in present-day South Sudan. He fled in the late 1980s during the second Sudanese civil war, when his village was destroyed by the militia murahaleen. He was among thousands of displaced youth, known as the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. Deng spent nine years in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, where he worked for the UNHCR as a social advocate and reproductive health educator. In 2001, he was resettled to Atlanta, GA. Deng has toured the U.S. speaking about his life in South Sudan, his experience as a refugee, and his collaboration with author Dave Eggers on What Is the What, the novelized version of Deng’s life story.

Deng and Eggers founded the VAD Foundation in 2006 to help rebuild South Sudanese communities by increasing educational access. 





December 24, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

J.K. Rowling: The Trump is Voldemort!

Monday, December 21, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Refugees from Armed Conflict: The 1951 Refugee Convention and International Humanitarian Law by Vanessa Holzer

Refugees from armed conflict

Refugees from Armed Conflict: The 1951 Refugee Convention and International Humanitarian Law by Vanessa Holzer

Armed conflicts are a major cause of forced displacement, but people displaced by conflict are often not recognized as refugees under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. They are frequently considered as having fled from generalized violence rather than from persecution. This book determines the international meaning of the refugee definition in Article 1A(2) of the Convention as regards refugee protection claims related to situations of armed conflict in the country of origin. Although the human rights based interpretation of the refugee definition is widely accepted, the interpretation and application of the Convention as regards claims to refugee status that relate to armed conflict is often marred with difficulties. Moreover, contexts of armed conflict pose the question of whether and to what extent the refugee definition should be interpreted in light of international humanitarian law. This book identifies the potential and limits of this interpretative approach. Starting from the history of international refugee law, the book situates the 1951 Convention within the international legal framework for the protection of the individual in armed conflict. It examines the refugee definition in light of human rights, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law, focusing on the elements of the refugee definition that most benefit from this interpretative approach: persecution and the requirement that the refugee claimant's predicament must be causally linked to the race, religion, nationality, and/or membership of a particular social group or political opinion.


December 21, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy by Benjamin Powell, editor



The Economics of Immigration: Market-Based Approaches, Social Science, and Public Policy by Benjamin Powell, editor, Oxford University Press 2015

The Economics of Immigration summarizes the best social science studying the actual impact of immigration, which is found to be at odds with popular fears. Greater flows of immigration have the potential to substantially increase world income and reduce extreme poverty. Existing evidence indicates that immigration slightly enhances the wealth of natives born in destination countries while doing little to harm the job prospects or reduce the wages of most of the native-born population. Similarly, although a matter of debate, most credible scholarly estimates of the net fiscal impact of current migration find only small positive or negative impacts. Importantly, current generations of immigrants do not appear to be assimilating more slowly than prior waves. Although the range of debate on the consequences of immigration is much narrower in scholarly circles than in the general public, that does not mean that all social scientists agree on what a desirable immigration policy embodies. The second half of this book contains three chapters, each by a social scientist who is knowledgeable of the scholarship summarized in the first half of the book, which argue for very different policy immigration policies. One proposes to significantly cut current levels of immigration. Another suggests an auction market for immigration permits. The third proposes open borders. The final chapter surveys the policy opinions of other immigration experts and explores the factors that lead reasonable social scientists to disagree on matters of immigration policy.

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction  Benjamin Powell


2. The Economic Effects of International Labor Mobility  Peter T. Leeson and Zachary Gochenour

3. The Fiscal Impact of Immigration   Alex Nowrasteh

4. The Civic and Cultural Assimilation of Immigrants to the United States   Jacob Vigdor

5. Employment VISAs: An International Comparison Alexandre Padilla and Nicolás Cachanosky


6. Immigration Reform: A Modest Proposal   Richard K. Vedder

7. Immigration's Future: A Pathway to Legalization and Assimilation  Herbert London

8. A Radical Case for Open Borders   Bryan Caplan and Vipul Naik

9. Conclusion: Alternative Policy Perspectives   Benjamin Powell


December 20, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Human Rights In Children’s Literature: Imagination And The Narrative Of Law by Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham


Human Rights In Children’s Literature: Imagination And The Narrative Of Law by Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham, Oxford University Press 2015

How can children grow to realize their inherent rights and to respect the rights of others? And how are human rights norms disseminated so that they make a difference in children’s lives? In this book, Jonathan Todres and Sarah Higinbotham explore these questions through both human rights law and the texts much close to young people’s lives: children’s literature. Both international and domestic law affirm that children have rights. Human rights education research demonstrates that when children learn about human rights, they exhibit greater self-esteem and respect for the rights of others. The Convention on the Rights of the Child ─ the most widely-ratified human rights treaty ─ not only ensures that children have rights, it also requires that states make those rights "widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike." This first-of-its-kind requirement for a human rights treaty indicates that if rights are to be meaningful to the lives of children, then government and civil society must engage with those rights in ways that are relevant to children.

Human Rights in Children's Literature investigates children's rights under international law ─ identity and family rights, the right to be heard, the right to be free from discrimination, and other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights ─ and considers the way in which those rights are embedded in children's literature from Peter Rabbit to Horton Hears a Who! to Harry Potter. This book traverses children's rights law, literary theory, and human rights education to argue that in order for children to fully realize their human rights, they first have to imagine and understand them.



December 16, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 by Kunal M. Parker


Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 by Kunal M. Parker, cambrige University Press 2015.

This book reconceptualizes the history of U.S. immigration and citizenship law from the colonial period to the beginning of the twenty-first century by joining the histories of immigrants to those of Native Americans, African Americans, women, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans, and the poor. Kunal Parker argues that during the earliest stages of American history, being legally constructed as a foreigner, along with being subjected to restrictions on presence and movement, was not confined to those who sought to enter the country from the outside, but was also used against those on the inside. Insiders thus shared important legal disabilities with outsiders. It is only over the course of four centuries, with the spread of formal and substantive citizenship among the domestic population, a hardening distinction between citizen and alien, and the rise of a powerful centralized state, that the uniquely disabled legal subject we recognize today as the immigrant has emerged. The book advances new ways of understanding the relationship between foreignness and subordination over the long span of American history.


December 15, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The El Mozote Massacre: Human Rights and Global Implications (Revised and Expanded Edition Revised Edition) by Dr. Leigh Binford


The El Mozote Massacre: Human Rights and Global Implications Revised and Expanded Edition Revised Edition by Dr. Leigh Binford

 In 1981, more than a thousand civilians around El Mozote, El Salvador, were slaughtered by the country’s U.S.-trained army. The story was covered—and soon forgotten—by the international news media. In the first edition of The El Mozote Massacre, released in 1996, anthropologist Leigh Binford successfully restores a social identity to the massacre victims through his dissection of Third World human rights reporting and a rich ethnographic and personal account of El Mozote–area residents prior to the massacre.

Almost two decades later, the consequences of the massacre continue to reverberate through the country’s legal and socioeconomic systems. The El Mozote Massacre, 2nd Edition, which will be released in March 2016, brings together new evidence to address reconstruction, historical memory, and human rights issues resulting from what may be the largest massacre in modern Latin American history.

With a multitude of additions, including three new chapters, an extended chronology, discussion of the hearing and ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012, and evidence gathered throughout half a dozen field trips made by the author, Binford presents a current perspective on the effects of this tragic moment in history. Thanks to geographically expanded fieldwork, Binford offers critical discussion of postwar social, economic, religious, and social justice in El Mozote, and adds important new regional, national, and global contexts.

The El Mozote Massacre, 2nd Edition maintains the crucial presence of the massacre in human rights discussions for El Salvador, Latin America, and the world.


December 13, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales

Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales, University of California Press, 2015

Over two million of the nation’s eleven million undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States since childhood. Due to a broken immigration system, they grow up to uncertain futures. In Lives in Limbo, Roberto G. Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college-goers, like Ricardo, who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and DREAM Act organizing but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation, and the early-exiters, like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connections in high school and started navigating dead-end jobs, immigration checkpoints, and a world narrowly circumscribed by legal limitations. This vivid ethnography explores why highly educated undocumented youth share similar work and life outcomes with their less-educated peers, despite the fact that higher education is touted as the path to integration and success in America. Mining the results of an extraordinary twelve-year study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles, Lives in Limbo exposes the failures of a system that integrates children into K-12 schools but ultimately denies them the rewards of their labor.



December 10, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 7, 2015

From the Bookshelves: The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De León


The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason De León.   Michæl Wells (Photographer). University of California Press, 2015

In his gripping and provocative debut, anthropologist Jason De León sheds light on one of the most pressing political issues of our time—the human consequences of US immigration policyThe Land of Open Graves reveals the suffering and deaths that occur daily in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as thousands of undocumented migrants attempt to cross the border from Mexico into the United States.

Drawing on the four major fields of anthropology, De León uses an innovative combination of ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, and forensic science to produce a scathing critique of “Prevention through Deterrence,” the federal border enforcement policy that encourages migrants to cross in areas characterized by extreme environmental conditions and high risk of death. For two decades, this policy has failed to deter border crossers while successfully turning the rugged terrain of southern Arizona into a killing field.

In harrowing detail, De León chronicles the journeys of people who have made dozens of attempts to cross the border and uncovers the stories of the objects and bodies left behind in the desert.

The Land of Open Graves will spark debate and controversy.


December 7, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Violetta Armour, I'll Always Be With You

Violetta Armour holds family close to her heart, a concept she hopes to share in her new book I’ll Always Be With You.” Drawing from her own experience as a first-generation American with Bulgarian roots, Armour tells the story of Teddy, a young boy who has lost his father and finds comfort in a book his great-grandfather carried with him to America. Through this life-changing book, Teddy embraces his origins and finds the peace of mind he’s been looking for. “I’ll Always Be With You” offers insight into the trials of facing racial tensions and prejudices while encouraging the celebration of culture and traditions.


November 10, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review: Ingrid Eagly on Crimmigration Law by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández


Book Review: Crimmigration Law by César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, the American Bar Association 2015, 281 pages by Ingrid V. Eagly

Crimmigration Law, published by the American Bar Association earlier this year, is the first text book dedicated to exploring the connection between immigration law and criminal law in the United States. The book’s author, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, is one of the leading scholars in a growing field that studies the increasing merger of criminal justice and migration control. This new field, sometimes referred to as “crimmigration law,” reflects the on-the-ground reality of changes in law and practice that have blurred the lines between criminal and immigration enforcement. The immigration system is increasingly relying on criminal mechanisms, such as detention in prisons and jails, to enforce the immigration law. At the same time, the criminal system now plays a central role in adjudicating immigration status, including detecting noncitizens subject to deportation and advising defendants on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Crimmigration Law makes a grand entry as a foundational text. The book not only familiarizes readers with some of the key debates about immigration enforcement and the criminalization of migration, but it also provides an on-the-ground primer to the thorny doctrinal law that practitioners of immigration and criminal law must master. On the immigration law side, García Hernández shows his readers how deportation can result from criminal conduct or criminal convictions, and how detention is a tool that is increasingly being used to expand the deportation system. On the criminal law side, García Hernández reveals how immigrants face punitive sanctions in both the state and federal criminal justice systems for conduct such as unlawful entry into the country or possession of false documents. He also has an excellent chapter on the Sixth Amendment obligation of criminal defense counsel to advise noncitizens as to the potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Each chapter is supplemented by an informative bibliography of additional reading on the topic.

Readers of Crimmigration Lawwill benefit from the book’s thoughtful inclusion of practice-based problems that require application of the law to a realistic set of facts. For example, after discussing the important topic of how to defend against deportation (known as relief from removal), García Hernández presents readers with a detailed problem asking whether an immigrant convicted of burglary and married to a United States citizen could potentially qualify for adjustment of status (and thereby avoid deportation). Through immediate application, readers have the opportunity to practice what they just learned—and thereby deepen their understanding. These practical problems are further supplemented by helpful “practice pointers” that highlight the ways in which a practitioner should think about applying the book’s lessons in advising clients and litigating cases.

In sum, Crimmigration Law is a must-read for law students and practitioners seeking an introduction to the complex legal doctrine and practice challenges at the merger of immigration and criminal law. The text offers in one concise volume an overview of the most critical topics in both civil and criminal enforcement of immigration law. Thank you to García Hernández for this important contribution, which provides a valuable training tool for defenders of immigrant rights.

Ingrid Eagly is a Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy.



October 22, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)