Monday, May 25, 2015

Group Blames Immigrants for Impacts of Drought in California

Is immigration contributing to the impacts of the drought in California?  Yes, according to television ads aired by Californians for Population Stabilization, a group that promotes reductions in immigration.   Others have made similar claims.  CPS supported Proposition 187, a state immigration milestone passed by the voters in 1994 that was struck down by the courts. For more on this story, click here.


May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Honoring Immigrant Soldiers on Memorial Day


Memorial Day allow the nation to remember those who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans — established it as a time to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day came to honor all Americans who died while in military service.

We should remember our immigrant soldiers on this Memorial Day.   As mentioned, veterans of the Union army began what became the Memorial Day tradition.  One-third of the soldiers who fought for the Union were immigrants. Many of those were Irish immigrants who had come to the United States. as refugees of the Great Potato Famine. According to a Los Angeles Times database, 35 of the recent California casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were born in Mexico and 18 in the Philippines


This Immigration Impact story from last Memorial Day reminds us to honor the foreign-born members of the armed services on Memorial Day. 


May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: Global Migration: Old Assumptions, New Dynamics by Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Anja Wiesbrock, Editors


Global Migration Old Assumptions, New Dynamics by Diego Acosta Arcarazo and Anja Wiesbrock, Editors

Even in an age of mobility, 97 percent of people stay in the country where they were born.

This three-volume work exposes myths and debunks misinformation about global migration, an issue generating emotional debate from the highest levels of power to kitchen tables across the United States, Europe, and worldwide. Many don't realize that migration has been a central element of global social change since the 15th century. Unfortunately, misconceptions about the 3 percent of world citizens who do choose to migrate can be destructive. In 2008, riots broke out in South Africa over workers from neighboring countries. Today's rising tensions along the U.S.-Mexican border are inciting political, social, and economic upheaval. In the EU, political fortunes rise and fall on positions regarding the future of multiculturalism in Europe.

Relying on fact, not rhetoric, this three-volume book seeks to inform readers, allay fears, and advance solutions. While other reference works tend to limit their scope to one country or one dimension of this hot-button issue, this book looks at the topic through a wide and interdisciplinary lens. Truly global in scope, this collection explores issues on all five continents, discussing examples from more than 50 countries through analysis by 40 top scholars across 8 disciplines. By exploring the past, present, and future of measures that have been implemented in an attempt to deal with migration—ranging from regularization procedures to criminalization—readers will be able to understand this worldwide phenomenon. Both the expert and the general reader will find a wealth of information free of the unsustainable claims and polarized opinions usually presented in the media.

Here is the introductory chapter of this book. 


Offers the university student or interested lay reader a broad and accessible introduction to key questions on migration issues in 50 countries spanning 5 continents

Presents cutting-edge research drawn from the eight academic perspectives of law, economics, politics, sociology, demography, geography, anthropology, and history to allow the activist, journalist, or specialist to discuss the issues more thoroughly

Dispels numerous common myths surrounding migration, providing more depth and perspective than what is usually presented in the media Supplies the broad scope, accessibility, and utility to serve nearly every audience, making this three-volume work an ideal choice for libraries seeking to purchase one reference work on immigration

Authors: Diego Acosta Arcarazo, PhD, is a lecturer in law at the University of Bristol, UK. He holds a doctorate in EU migration law from King's College University, London, UK, and he previously lectured at the University of Sheffield. His published works include The Long-Term Resident Status as a Subsidiary Form of EU Citizenship and EU Security and Justice Law.

Anja Wiesbrock, PhD, is a senior judicial advisor at the Research Council of Norway. She has previously worked as an assistant professor in EU Law at the Department of International and European Law of Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Her published works include Legal Migration to the European Union and The Greening of European Business Under EU Law: Taking Article 11 TFEU Seriously.

Their book has benefited from the input of an advisory board composed of UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants François Crépeau; the former UN rapporteur, Jorge Bustamante; and five key migration scholars: Professors Aderanti Adepoju, Binod Khadria, Wei Li, Kees Groenendijk, and Andrew Geddes. The contributors are leading scholars from five continents in eight different disciplines.


May 25, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Celebrating the Chinese Workers Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

Stephen Magagnini reports on a gathering earlier this month at the California State Railroad Museum.  Several hundred of the region’s leading Chinese Americans joined Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in welcoming a delegation from the Chinese consulate general in San Francisco to see a photo display featuring murals, figurines and sculptures depicting Chinese railroad workers and celebrating the 150th anniversary of the building of the transcontinental railroad over the Sierra Nevada.

More than 12,000 Chinese workers took on a challenge that other Americans workers wouldn’t, getting paid between $28 and $40 a month to work 12 to 14 hour days, often in blizzards and blazing heat on cliffs that had to be blasted. 

Secrettown Trestle_N_4396

Photo from California History Room, California State Library


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

Martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero closer to sainthood


CNN reports that, 35 years after being assassinated while holding mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero was beatified on Saturday, bringing the slain priest a step closer to sainthood in the Catholic Church. Tens of thousands of people crowded El Salvador's Savior of the World Plaza for the bestowing of the honor. Romero was a hero of the liberation theology movement, which views the church as properly siding with the oppressed.  His beatification was delayed for years because Romero was controversial within the Church. Pope Francis declared Romero a martyr earlier this year.

I had the opportunity in 1986 -- a time in which political violence was rampant in the country -- to visit Archbishop Romero's tomb in the Cathedral of San Salvador.  It was a moving experience and clearly a scared place to the people of El Salvador.  President Obama visited the tomb on a trip to Latin America in 2011.

The movie Romero, starring Raul Julia as the Archbishop, tells of Archbishop Romero's experiences and is well worth seeing.



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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From the Bookshelves: Immigration Law & the Military, 2nd Edition by Margaret D. Stock

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Immigration Law & the Military, 2nd Edition by Margaret D. Stock

Immigration Law & the Military addresses immigration issues encountered by:

Noncitizens serving on active duty

Noncitizens affected by disciplinary and court martial procedures

U.S. military personnel who marry citizens of other countries

Children of U.S. military personnel who are adopted overseas and are in need of immigrant/nonimmigrant visas

Immigration Law & the Military is the only resource available that gives you the tools to tackle issues such as:

Selective service and enlistment rules Special rules and procedures for naturalization through military service

Types of military discharges

Implications of military disciplinary proceedings & courts martial

Parole in Place

Military-related issues for family members of military personnel

Civilian employees/contractors who work alongside military member

In addition to the above topics,Immigration Law & the Military explores common military-related issues through real case examples and provides information on special resources available to military personnel and their family members. Confidently handle immigration cases for military personnel and their families with the help of a top expert in the field.


As a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Military Police, U.S. Army Reserve, Margaret Stock has extensive experience with U.S. military issues. She has also worked as a professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and as an adjunct instructor at the University of Alaska. Margaret is a member of the board of the Federal Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section and a former member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. In 2013, she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


May 23, 2015 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Albany Law School Immigration Law Clinic Fellow

Albany Law School’s Law Clinic & Justice Center seeks a Fellow to provide legal advocacy services and direct representation to clients in its new Immigration Law Clinic and to perform other related duties pursuant to grants and contracts. The Immigration Law Clinic teaches law students practical lawyering skills in the context of Family Court and immigration proceedings at which students represent individuals who are seeking to regularize their immigration status. Additionally, the Fellow will assist the Director with research and analysis on long-term projects. At the Director’s discretion, the Fellow may have limited opportunities for participating in trainings, supervising in-class activities, assisting in program design and leading case rounds. This position begins July 1, 2015 and lasts for one year.

Qualified candidates will possess a JD degree and admission to the New York State bar. Practical legal experience in immigration and family law is preferred. Spanish language skills are desirable, but not required.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter, by June 12, 2015, to:

Albany Law School Director of Human Resources 80 New Scotland Avenue Albany, NY 12208-3494 Fax: (518) 445-3262 E-mail:


May 22, 2015 in Current Affairs, Immigration Law Clinics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bernie Sanders for President?!?!


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently announced that he will run for President, becoming the first to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Sanders has said little about what his immigration policy platform will be.

Immigration Impact in a short piece found that Sanders has previously staked out the following positions:

1. Sanders supports President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

2. Sanders voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. Sanders was initially reluctant to support the Senate Immigration reform bill, S. 744 over concerns with guest worker programs.

3. Sanders remains skeptical of guest-worker programs.

The restrictionist group Numbers USA concludes that Sanders "Usually supports higher immigration, population growth, foreign labor."


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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

London Conference on Tax Citizenship and Income Shifting

Paul Caron over at TaxProf has pointed out that the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, Norwegian Center of Taxation, and University of Notre Dame are hosting a two day multidisciplinary international taxation conference on Tax Citizenship and Income Shifting at Notre Dame's London Global Gateway. Among the papers of interest to immprofs:

Michael Kirsch (Notre Dame), Citizenship Exits and Neutrality

Ruth Mason (Virginia), Taxing the American Diaspora

Gabriel Zucman (London School of Economics), Taxing Across Borders: Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits

I'm just going to say what you're all thinking - this looks like so much FUN! Well, maybe you're not as fascinated by my current passion for renunciation of citizenship for tax reasons, but, trust me, it's fascinating. Can't wait to read these articles on SSRN.


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

Empty Benches: Underfunding of Immigration Courts Undermines Justice

Today, the American Immigration Council releases Empty Benches: Underfunding of Immigration Courts Undermines Justice. Among many longstanding problems plaguing the U.S. immigration system is the shortage of immigration judges. Over the past decade, Congress has increased immigration enforcement funding exponentially, yet has not provided the immigration courts commensurate funding to handle the hundreds of thousands of new removal cases they receive each year. The resulting backlog has led to average hearing delays of over a year and a half, with serious adverse consequences.


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

Asian Immigrants in the United States Today

Adding to the previous work on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, the Center for American Progress has published analysis looking at the demographics and contributions to society of Asian immigrants in the United States today.

Today’s Asian immigrant community is diverse: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese immigrants are the top six nationalities of Asian immigrants and account for 85 percent of the total Asian immigrant population. These immigrants have contributed greatly to the overall growth of the U.S. Asian population. Since 2008, Asian immigrants have represented approximately 40 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population compared to 27 percent in 2005. The U.S. Asian population is also majority-foreign born: 66 percent of Asian Americans were born in another country, compared with only 37 percent of Latinos.

While many reasons bring Asian immigrants to the United States, the biggest migration pathway is through family-sponsored visas for relatives of U.S. citizens. For example, among Asian immigrants, 55 percent of visas in 2012 were issued through family-sponsored preferences, of which 35 percent were issued to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

Nonetheless, Asian immigrants face some of the longest backlogs for visas of any immigrant group. The Immigration and Nationality Act caps visas at 26,000 for any single country. Consequently, countries with the highest family- and employer-sponsored visas have to wait years before reuniting with their families. For example, siblings of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines wait for more than 25 years for a green card, while the siblings of adult Chinese Americans wait for more than 14 years. Overall, an estimated 4.2 million individuals from Asian countries are currently stuck in family-visa backlogs.


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

DREAMer to Lead Hillary Clinton’s Latino Outreach Effort


Vox and the New York Times report that the Hillary Clinton campaign for the Presidency has already hired the national director of Latino outreach. Lorella Praeli has credibility with immigration activists.  Praeli is part of the generation of young unauthorized immigrants that has been at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement. Praeli came to the United States from Peru at age 10, but didn't find out she was undocumented until she was a senior in high school. (Shebecame a lawful permanent resident in 2012.) For the past few years, she's been the director of policy and advocacy for United We Dream, a leading immigrant rights activist group.


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

Celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Act



The 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965 is drawing some attention.  As previously highlighted on ImmigrationProf earlier this week,  Cambridge University Press will soon publish  The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965: Legislating a New America, an anthology of readings edited by my colleagues Gabriel J. Chin and Rose Cuison Villazor.  Contributors include Cruz Reynoso, Gabriel J. Chin, Rose Cuison Villazor, Bill Ong Hing, Kevin R. Johnson, Brian Soucek, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Cerissa Salazar Parreñas, Atticus Lee, Valerie Francisco, Robyn Rodriguez, Leticia M. Saucedo, Jeannette Money, Kristina Victor, and Giovanni Peri.

In addition, a conference titled  Transforming Migrations: Beyond the 1965 Act will be held at the University of California, Irvine on October 8-9, 2015.  The conference will mark both he 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act) and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the University of California, Irvine.  Speakers will discuss the past, present and future of immigration policy, examining the shift from the inclusionary vision of the 1965 Act to the enforcement patterns we see today. Confirmed speakers include Lawrence Downes (New York Times), Héctor Tobar (University of Oregon, formerly with the Los Angeles Times), Marcelo Suárez-Orozco (UCLA), Jennifer Chacón (UCI), David FitzGerald (UCSD), Roberto Gonzales (Harvard), Marielena Hincapié (National Immigration Law Center), Dan Kanstroom (Boston College), Erika Lee (University of Minnesota), Cecilia Menjívar (University of Kansas) Hiroshi Motomura (UCLA), and Ana E. Rosas (UCI).


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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Real Estate, Retirement, and Visas

The New York Times is clearly feeling my article Buying the American Dream: Using Immigration Law to Bolster the Housing Market. They just don't know it yet.

My article talks about proposals to shore up the U.S. housing market by offering visas to retirees who purchase high-end real estate. I discuss the unique economic promise of this idea, which would allow for the virtual export of a non-consumable and non-transportable surplus of housing by admitting non-immigrants into the country to purchase it. I conclude, however, that by tying the concept to a nonimmigrant visa, by limiting its availability to retirees, and by allowing purchased homes to be used as rental properties, the legislation would never have accomplished its objective of improving the U.S. housing market.

Enter the New York Times.

In one recent article (Want a Green Card? Invest in Real Estate), the paper reported on an uptick in EB-5 visas being granted to individuals investing in NYC real estate. The article highlighted the large number of Chinese investors, in particular, looking to invest in NYC hotels, condominiums, office towers and public/private works. For the would-be immigrants, the benefits are clear: immigrant status for themselves and their families. As for the U.S. companies seeking investors:

Developers are eager to access the visa program because it is cheaper than many other financing sources. This is in large part because the participants are focused on securing green cards and are therefore willing to take smaller returns on their investment, typically earning less than 1 percent.

Of course the EB-5 program remains fairly small. Only about 3,000 were approved in 2012. (The USCIS has a great set of statistics and charts here.)

And then there's this article on retirees leaving the United States (Homeland Beckons Immigrants as Retirement Nears). The NYT reports that foreign-born individuals are leaving the U.S. to spend their retirement years in the countries of origin, citing lower costs of living, family ties, and healthcare costs.

Real estate, retirement, and visas. Sounds familiar!


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

Chris Christie Flip Flops Right on Immigration, Now Opposes Path to Citizenship


The flip flops on immigration by Republican presidential hopefuls continues.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was just the first. 

CNN reports that likely Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said that he has changed his position on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, becoming the latest Republican to recast their stance on the issue. Christie said Monday that he does not support possible citizenship for the immigrants, calling it an "extreme way to go." In 2010, the newly-elected Republican encouraged leaders in Washington to secure the border but also to "put forward a common sense path to citizenship for people."


One can only wonder what Bruce Springsteen, Chris Christie's musical idol, would say about Christie's new anti-legalization position.




May 20, 2015 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Economic Benefits and Electoral Implications of DAPA: DAPA Would Result in $164 Billion Increase in GDP, $88 Billion Increase in Incomes for All Americans, Create 20,538 Jobs Annually over 10 Years

 New analysis published today by the Center for American Progress finds that implementing DAPA would result in a GDP increase of $164 billion, an $88 billion increase in incomes for all Americans, and create 20,538 jobs per year over the next 10 years.

The analysis looks not only at the economic benefits of implementing the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, program—which would have gone into effect today were it not currently blocked in ongoing litigation brought by Texas and other states before an ideologically motivated judge from one of the most conservative circuit courts in the country—but also at the electoral implications of this delay given the nation’s shifting voter demographics.

These are the important numbers to keep in mind: There are 3.7 million individuals who would benefit from DAPA. Combined, these individuals have 5.5 million U.S. citizen children. More than half a million of these children—nearly 600,000—are currently of voting age, and 1.7 million will be of voting age by the 2020 presidential election. Given that nearly 60 percent of Latino registered voters of all ages say they know family, friends, co-workers, or others who are undocumented, it is impossible to deny the likely effect that blocking implementation of a program that would protect loved ones would have on the reasoning of these voters.

As polls cited in the analysis find, 89 percent of Latinos support deferred action, 65 percent of Asian Americans polled in 11 states support executive actions on immigration, and Americans as a whole favor the DAPA policy by a 76 percent to 19 percent margin.



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

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Task Force on 21st Century Policing: "Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing for civil enforcement and nonserious crime."


In light of clashes between communities of color and law enforcement, including in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, President Barack Obama created the Task Force on 21st Century Policing in December 2014. The goal of the task force was to recommend ways to reduce crime while increasing trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Yesterday, the task force submitted its recommendations to President Obama.

One of the recommendations relates directly to a modern trend in immigration enforcement:  "Law enforcement agencies should build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities. This is central to overall public safety." 

To implement that recommendation, the "action item" is to  "Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing for civil enforcement and nonserious crime. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security should terminate the use of the state and local criminal justice system, including through detention, notification, and transfer requests, to enforce civil immigration laws against civil and nonserious criminal offenders."

Note that this recommendation substantially departs from what has been happening in the United States in recent years, as well as the direction that the Obama administration was headed for its first six years in office..  With Immigration And Nationality Act § 287(g) agreements between state and local police agencies and federal immigration authorities, state and local immigration enforcement laws like Arizona's S.B. 1070, the recently-dismantled Secure Communities, and rogue operations like Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, state and local law enforcement have been deeply involved in immigration enforcement and have been aggressively facilitating removal of noncitizens charged of small time non-violent crimes, such as driving without a valid license.

We will see how the U.S., state, and local governments respond to the recommendation.  The recommendation already is provoking criticism from immigration hawks.

There also are some other immigration-related items in the Task Force report:

1.9.1 Action item: Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing for civil enforcement and nonserious crime.

 1.9.2 Action item: Law enforcement agencies should ensure reasonable and equitable language access for all persons who have encounters with police or who enter the criminal justice system.

 1.9.3 Action item: The U.S. Department of Justice should not include civil immigration information in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.

 2.13 Recommendation: Law enforcement agencies should adopt and enforce policies prohibiting profiling and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, housing status, occupation, or language fluency.


May 19, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The History of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Monday, May 18, 2015

Disposable Warrior: An Immigrant Veteran's Story


In this a piece from The Investigative Fund, "Unwanted Alive," J. Malcolm Garcia tells the story of Neuris Feliz, who, born in the Dominican Republic, moved to the United States at age 11, joined the Army in 2002, and was deployed to Iraq. When he returned home to Pennsylvania, Feliz committed a crime that looks to be the product of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)  and pleased guilty to aggravated assault. Now, the U.S. government is seeking to deport him.


May 18, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Bill Would Affect Visas for International Journalists

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) has introduced a new bill: H.R. 2242 or the World Press Freedom Protection Act of 2015. Its goal is "To protect the internationally recognized right of free expression, ensure the free flow of information, and protect journalists and media personnel globally."

Immprofs might be most interested in Section 5 of the proposed legislation, which has its own policy statement:

"Given the critical importance of the press freedoms and the free flow of cross-border information for diplomatic, political, and financial relations globally, and for purposes of investors, businesses, and politicians making informed decisions, it should be the policy of the United States Government to respond strongly and persuasively to the growing number of restrictions, threats, detentions, harassment, arrests, pervasive surveillance, killings, and delays or denials of visas faced by foreign journalists and their domestic employees, especially the blockage and censorship of the websites of news corporations."

The bill would amend INA 101(a)(15)(I) by including the following restrictions:

“(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an alien who is an executive of a state-owned media organization of a foreign state and is applying for a visa under section 101(a)(15)(I) during a fiscal year, the visa shall be refused if any United States journalist or news organization personnel were expelled, had visas denied, or faced intimidation or violence or other restrictions in the course of working in the foreign state during the previous fiscal year.

(2) DEFINITION.—For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘executive of a state-owned media organization of a foreign state’ means a representative, operating in a managerial or executive capacity of a media organization that is majority owned, operated, or controlled by a foreign government operating in the United States.”

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Ways and Means.


May 18, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)